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Strong ratings for Fox News, CNN & MSNBC courtesy of presidential race

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - JUNE 25: Presumptive Republican nominee for US president Donald Trump visits Trump International Golf Links on June 25, 2016 in Aberdeen, Scotland. The US presidential hopeful was in Scotland for the reopening of the refurbished Open venue golf resort Trump Turnberry which has undergone an eight month refurbishment as part of an investment thought to be worth in the region of two hundred million pounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND – JUNE 25: Presumptive Republican nominee for US president Donald Trump visits Trump International Golf Links on June 25, 2016 in Aberdeen, Scotland. The US presidential hopeful was in Scotland for the reopening of the refurbished Open venue golf resort Trump Turnberry which has undergone an eight month refurbishment as part of an investment thought to be worth in the region of two hundred million pounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Wednesday, June 29, 2016

This crazy 2016 presidential race has boosted the ratings of all three major cable news networks.

Fox News was the No. 2 cable network during the second quarter, only behind Atlanta-based TNT, which was fueled by NBA basketball playoffs. And it has been the lead cable news network for 58 consecutive quarters.

“The O’Reilly Factor” has been the number one cable show for more than 16 years and averaged 2.9 million viewers in the second quarter. “The Kelly File” drew 2.41 million, followed by “Hannity” at 1.95 million. Earlier in the evening, Bret Baier‘s newscast drew nearly 2 million viewers.

Over the first half of the year, Fox News had its highest viewership in its 19-year history, averaging 1.3 million viewers during the day and 2.2 million in primetime.

Although Atlanta-based CNN and MSNBC together don’t match Fox News’ total viewer numbers, CNN narrowed the gap among 25 to 54 year olds.

During primetime in that demographic in the second quarter, CNN finished 9% behind Fox News (324k vs 358k). Total day, the gap was 12 percent (190K vs. 217K). It also won among among 25 to 54 years olds on weekends.

And CNN jumped into the top 10 among all cable networks, growing more than 70 percent year over year in primetime in the second quarter.


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