Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Aug. 12

By A.J. Katz Comment

Fox News was, once again, the most-watched basic cable network this past week in prime time. It also marked its 32nd consecutive week as the most-watched basic cable network in the 6 a.m. – 6 a.m. time period.

On the programming front – First-run telecasts of Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight (even with a Tucker-less program), The Ingraham Angle, The Five, Special Report with Bret Baier and The Story with Martha MacCallum comprised 19 of the top 30 cable telecasts in total viewers. Notably, FNC’s prime time programs Hannity and Tucker Carlson Tonight delivered the top seven telecasts in total viewers. On Sunday, August 18th, FNC’s season premiere of the docu series Scandalous, topped the Sunday 8 p.m. cable news competition in total viewers with 1.2 million, up double digits versus the season three premiere. However, the season premiere finished behind a re-run of Anderson Cooper‘s interview with Stephen Colbert in the ad-friendly A25-54 demo.

Additionally, Fox News posted a double digit loss in prime time viewership vs. what it delivered during the comparable week in 2018.

MSNBC remained the second-most-watched on all of basic cable this past week. It also beat rival CNN in the A25-54 demo during prime time. However, the network fell short to the aforementioned CNN in the demo across 6am-6am. Additionally, the network continues to lose viewers from its impressive 2018. Perhaps they’ll return as we approach 2020.

CNN slipped out of the prime time top 10, finishing No. 12 for the week in total prime time viewers. It still held a spot in the Top 10 in total day viewing, coming in at No. 8 by averaging 578,000 viewers across 6 a.m. – 6 a.m. It also beat MSNBC in total day among adults 25-54.

When compared with the same week in 2018, Fox News was -19% in total prime time viewers. MSNBC was -14% in total prime time viewers, while CNN was also -14% in the same daypart. In total day, Fox was actually +1%, but MSNBC was -16% and CNN was -16%.

Cable News Week of Aug. 5 (Total Viewers)
Fox News: Prime Time (2,422,000) and Total Day (1,347,000)
MSNBC: Prime Time (1,578,000) and Total Day (868,000)
CNN: Prime Time (866,000) and Total Day (578,000)

Cable News Week of Aug. 5 (Adults 25-54)
Fox News: Prime Time (363,000) and Total Day (227,000)
MSNBC: Prime Time (236,000) and Total Day (123,000)
CNN: Prime Time (216,000) and Total Day (136,000)

Source: Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. 8/12/2019 – 08/18/2019. M-Su 8p-11p / M-Su 6a-6a

Basic cable ranker: Week of Aug. 12 (Total Viewers)

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