Fox News’ Sean Hannity Tops MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in First 9 p.m. Matchup

Fox News anchor Sean Hannity made his debut at 9 p.m. Monday night, coming out ahead of MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow in their first head-to-head matchup in the timeslot.

According to Nielsen data, “Hannity” averaged 3.27 million total viewers for the hour, with 666,000 of those falling in the adults 25-54 demographic. Maddow, meanwhile, drew 2.66 million viewers with 591,000 in the key demo. On CNN, Anderson Cooper averaged 1.45 million viewers with 470,000 in the demo. Hannity was also the highest-rated cable news program in both categories for the day. Hannity’s guest for the night was former White House special adviser Steve Bannon. His guest Tuesday will be former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly.

The news of Hannity’s win in his new timeslot comes on the heels of Fox News marking 63 consecutive quarters as the highest-rated cable news channel in total viewers. For the quarter, Fox News averaged 2.15 million viewers in primetime, down 12% from the same quarter last year, with 436,000 in the demo, down 5% from last year. MSNBC was second with 1.75 million total viewers and 384,000 in the demo, up 43% and 29% respectively. CNN finished third with 1.09 million viewers and 379,000 in the demo, down 11% and 5% respectively.

In total day, Fox News was also number one in both measures with 1.37 million total viewers and 298,000 in the demo. MSNBC was second in total viewers with 951,000 but third in the demo with 214,000. CNN was third in total viewers with 797,000 but second in the demo with 265,000.

However, Rachel Maddow had the number one cable news program for the quarter in both total viewers and the key demo, marking the first quarter that any MSNBC has ranked number one in all of cable news. Maddow averaged 2.7 million viewers and 606,000 in the demo, up 75% in total viewers from last year and 68% in the demo.

In total day, CNN had its most-watched third quarter ever among total viewers and its highest Q3 delivery in the key demo in 16 years.  In prime time, CNN delivered its second highest Q3 since 2008 in both total viewers and the demo.

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