Our friend Steve Krakauer at TVNewser notes that the Obama presidency has been good for Fox News Channel ratings. While we do post daily cable news TV ratings ourselves, and you are welcome to do your own trend analysis, I think our ongoing chart of O’Reilly Factor vs. Countdown with Keith Olbermann ratings is worth a thousand words.

O’Reilly Factor ratings are up sharply adding around a million viewers a night compared to mid-January, Countdown on the other hand has increased only slightly. For the record, I am not a fan of either of these guys, nor television news in general, but the trends are interesting and worth noting. Earlier, I thought that an Obama administration would only help Fox News ratings a bit, and I think that long term it’s likely to be the case, but in the short term I’d bet the folks at Fox News are chanting “Yes, We Can!”


The trend lines above are 20 day (4 week) moving averages. Note that on three nights, O’Reilly’s P2+ audience exceeded 5 million: 9/3 5.206m, 9/4 6.644m and 10/2 5.624m. Those numbers are included in the running average, but stretching the scale out to 7m to include just those 3 points compressed the rest of the data so much as to hurt the readability of the chart. Click the chart for a full-sized image.

Last Week’s Trend of O’Reilly vs. Olbermann TV Ratings:


For complete information on all cable news ratings check our daily cable news ratings posts.

Nielsen Cable Network Coverage Estimates (as of October, 2008)

CNN/HLN: 98.63 million HHs

CNBC: 97.13 million HHs

FNC: 94.82 million HHs

MSNBC: 93.00 million HHs

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted by:TV By The Numbers