Fox News topped prime-time ratings for all of basic cable in August, soaring 64 percent in the coveted 25-54 demographic over its numbers from last year -- thanks in large part to its blockbuster coverage of the 2016 GOP presidential race.
The channel ranked No. 1 in prime-time total viewers, averaging 2.34 million viewers per night and 524,000 in the demo, besting TNT, USA, HGTV and TBS, according to Nielsen. That's the second time this year Fox has ranked first in basic cable for the month. In addition to the huge gains in the key demo, Fox pulled in 34 percent more viewers in total over the same time last year.
CNN and MSNBC, meanwhile, are down 17 percent and 7 percent in prime time, respectively. These days, Fox is looking to compete with the bigger channels outside the cable news club.
The home of Bill O'Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity had the top two telecasts in cable: the first Republican debate in Cleveland on Aug. 6 -- which was the highest-rated program in Fox's history and the highest rated non-sports programming on basic cable ever -- and "The Kelly File."
Notably, Fox's GOP debate kicked off a high-profile feud between its star Kelly and front-runner and master media manipulator Donald Trump. His attacks on Kelly dominated the fallout of the debate and caused Fox Chairman Roger Ailes to wade in several times to warn Trump off.
Hannity, who hosts the go-to show for every GOP candidate looking for a lengthy (and friendly) interview, enjoyed his best month ever in both the key demo and total viewers at 10 p.m. EDT, averaging 1.8 million total viewers and 405,000 in the demo.
That's not to say Fox is the only network putting on wall-to-wall election coverage: CNN and MSNBC also covered politics around the clock, but lacked the draw that the first debate earned Fox.
All three of the news channels also covered major stories such as the shooting of two journalists in Moneta, Virginia, and the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina -- although CNN bumped its Katrina special to go live to a Trump press conference from Iowa on Aug. 25.