Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Dec. 2

By A.J. Katz 

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It’s tough to find any problems right now for Fox News. Ratings-wise, that is.

FNC finished the week of Dec. 2 as the most-watched basic cable network in prime time and in the 6 a.m. – 6 a.m. ET time period, and posted substantial audience growth relative to the same week in 2018: +31% in total prime time viewers and +14% in total day viewers.

FNC marked 48 consecutive weeks at No. 1 in total day viewers, and also beat CNN and MSNBC for the 18th consecutive week the 25-54 demo with 271,000. In prime time, Fox swept the competition delivering 2.9 million total viewers and 425,000 in the demo, beating MSNBC and CNN combined in total viewership.

Hannity and Tucker Carlson Tonight were the top 2 cable news shows of the week, followed by The Ingraham Angle.

One of the most notable performances came from The Five, which averaged more total viewers than The Rachel Maddow Show for the 2nd consecutive week, a trend unheard of in recent years.

Fox News also averaged more total viewers for its coverage of the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing than any other network, broadcast and cable.

MSNBC and CNN, on the other hand, were down year-over-year. MSNBC drew huge prime time audiences that week in 2018 as a result of breaking news regarding the Trump-Russia investigation and the president’s former lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen finding himself in hot water. CNN drew a substantial audience that week in 2018 for its coverage of President George H.W. Bush‘s state funeral on Wednesday.

CNN was -14% in total prime time viewers, and -15% in total day viewers vs. last year. The network came in at No. 11 across basic cable in total prime time viewership, and No. 5 in total day viewership.

MSNBC remained a top 5 basic cable network, despite some year-over-year losses (-12% in prime time and -5% in total day). It finished No. 4 behind Fox, ESPN and holiday movie-focused Hallmark Channel. MSNBC remained No. 2 in total day viewers behind Fox News.

Cable News Rankings (Total Viewers) / Mon – Sun

  • FNC ranked No. 1 in prime time (2,859,000) / No. 1 in total day (1,616,000)
  • MSNBC ranked No. 4 in prime time (1,808,000) / No. 2 in total day (1,070,000)
  • CNN ranked No. 11 in prime time (887,000) / No. 5 in total day (689,000)

Cable News Ratings (A25-54) / Mon – Sun

  • FNC – Prime time (425,000) / Total Day (271,000)
  • MSNBC – Prime time (274,000) / Total Day (154,000)
  • CNN – Prime time (210,000) / Total Day (165,000)

Basic Cable Top 10 – Prime Time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,859,000)
  2. ESPN (2,706,000)
  3. Hallmark Channel (1,830,000)
  4. MSNBC (1,808,000)
  5. A&E (1,076,000)
  6. TBS (1,058,000)
  7. HGTV (981,000)
  8. History (936,000)
  9. Discovery (922,000)
  10. Freeform (903,000)

Basic Cable Top 10 – Total Day (total viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,418,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,127,000)
  3. Hallmark Channel (1,096,000)
  4. ESPN (875,000)
  5. CNN (689,000)
  6. Nickelodeon (617,000)
  7. HGTV (563,000)
  8. ID (544,000)
  9. A&E (513,000)
  10. Food Network (509,000)

Basic cable ranker: Week of Dec. 2 (Total Viewers)