FOX Business Network (FBN) ends the first half of 2016 as the fastest-growing cable news channel with double digit growth across all key day parts, according to Nielsen Media Research. In addition, Lou Dobbs Tonight notched its first-ever consecutive quarterly win, and was the top rated news program this quarter on business television. The network also scored its first primetime breaking business news win over CNBC with special coverage of the Brexit vote on Thursday, June 23rd.
With the most growth in total viewers across Total Day, Business Day and Primetime, FBN continues to be the fastest growing cable news network on television for 2016. Total Day saw gains of 94 percent, while Primetime ratings increased 133 percent, more than any other cable news network so far this year. In addition, Business Day (9:30AM-5PM) grew 113 percent, averaging 128,000 in total viewers.
For the quarter, Lou Dobbs earned 220,000 total viewers for his program Lou Dobbs Tonight (7PM/ET), marking the first-time he’s ever won consecutive quarters in total viewers. In addition, Dobbs was the number one rated news program on business television for the second quarter, besting CNBC shows like Jay Leno’s Garage, Shark Tank and The Profit during the 7PM/ET timeslot in total viewers.
An additional key driver of growth for FBN was Stuart Varney’s market open program Varney & Co (9AM-12PM/ET), which had its highest rated quarter ever with 176,000 total viewers. For the month of June, Varney was the third highest rated business program on television, trailing CNBC’s Squawk on the Street/Squawk Alley by just 11,000 total viewers, which is the smallest margin ever between the two networks in that time period. Additionally, all of FBN’s programs scored individual records this quarter, with record growth across the board.
Breaking news was also a strength for the network this quarter, as FBN earned its first-ever primetime breaking business news win over CNBC. On June 23rd, FBN saw 28% more total viewers tune-in to its special Brexit report than CNBC, which only had 188,000 total viewers compared to FBN’s 241,000. Retention was a major story on the day following the vote, as FBN scored its highest rated Business Day ever on June 24th with 247,000 total viewers. In addition, for the second night in a row, FBN’s Brexit coverage led by Lou Dobbs swept CNBC’s Brexit: Facing the Fallout at 7PM/ET with 290,000 total viewers to their 163,000.
While FBN continued its momentum as the fastest-growing cable news network on television, rival CNBC actually saw their ratings decline by 40 percent in the demo during Business Day. As a result, FBN pulled within 55,000 total viewers this quarter of CNBC, further narrowing the gap between the two business networks. Additionally, FBN ranked as the leader on Facebook for the month with 2.3 million interactions, besting both Bloomberg and CNBC in engagement.