Basic Cable Ranker: Week of April 15

By A.J. Katz 

Another week, another win in total viewers for Fox News.

The most-watched network on basic cable averaged 1.4 million total day viewers for the week of April 15, marking Fox News’ 15th consecutive weekly win. FNC averaged 2.5 million total viewers in prime time, more than any other cable network for the third consecutive week.

Presentations of Hannity, The Five, The Ingraham Angle, America’s Newsroom (Mueller report coverage) and Tucker Carlson Tonight were among 15 of the 30-most-watched cable broadcasts of the week.


The Bernie Sanders town hall was a big deal for Fox News. Few thought an event like this would happen, but it garnered a ton of interest (and perhaps curiosity) in the lead up, and resulted in being the most-watched town hall of 2019 to-date (the first CNN Kamala Harris town hall averaged more adults 25-54).

Additionally the Sanders town hall, co anchored by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, was the highest-rated weekday delivery of the year in the 25-54 news demo and the second highest-rated weekday delivery in total viewers for 2019.

Overall, compared to the same week last year, (which included live coverage of the former First Lady Barbara Bush‘s funeral), Fox News was +2% in total prime time viewers, +2% in total day viewers.

However, Fox News, like its competitors, is losing adults 25-54. FNC was -15% in the prime time demo, and -9% in 25-54 viewers across total day vs. the same week in 2018.

Despite wall-to-wall coverage of the Mueller report findings on Thursday, CNN and MSNBC slipped in the ratings department last week relative to 2018. Year over year decline has become a trend for both networks in recent weeks.

Despite finishing the week in the top three among total viewers, MSNBC was -11% in total prime time viewers, -2% in total day viewers, -34% in the prime time demo and -28% in the total day demo vs. the comparable week in 2018.

CNN finished No. 15 in prime time viewers this past week. Its 783,000 total prime time viewer average was -17% vs. the same week in 2018. The network was also -17% in total day viewers, -35% in the prime time demo and -28% among adults 25-54 across total day vs. last year.

Basic Cable Top 10 – Prime time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,478,000)
  2. TNT (2,228,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,771,000)
  4. HGTV (1,187,000)
  5. USA (1,080,000)
  6. History (1,072,000)
  7. ESPN (1,046,000)
  8. TBS (953,000)
  9. Hallmark (938,000)
  10. A&E (936,000)

Basic Cable Top 10 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,444,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,016,000)
  3. TNT (863,000)
  4. Nickelodeon (712,000)
  5. Investigation Discovery (694,000)
  6. HGTV (688,000)
  7. CNN (613,000)
  8. History (549,000)
  9. ESPN (540,000)
  10. USA (536,000)

Basic cable ranker: Week of April 15 (Total Viewers)

Business TV news:

FBN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight continued its reign as the No.1 business program in total viewers, delivering 338,000 total. Varney & Co. hosted by Stuart Varney finished the week No. 2 across of business TV in total viewers, and was the most-watched market hours program for the 100th consecutive week.

Business Day (9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET)

  • FBN: 161,000 total viewers / 17,000 A25-54
  • CNBC: 151,000 total viewers / 28,000 A25-54

Market Hours (9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET)

  • FBN: 166,000 total viewers / 18,000 A25-54
  • CNBC: 152,000 total viewers / 28,000 A25-54