Basic Cable Ranker: Week of December 18

By A.J. Katz 

Another week, another victory for Fox News in the ratings department.

Already named the most-watched cable television network for 2017, Fox News also happens to be the No. 1 across cable in total day viewers for the fourth consecutive week (Dec. 18 – 24, 2017), according to Nielsen data.

Fox News, which was led by various presentations of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity, The Ingraham Angle, and Special Report with Bret Baier, finished No. 2 across cable in total prime time viewers. ESPN finished No. 1 once again.


The Worldwide Leader in Sports also finished No. 1 in the key prime time demo of adults 25-54, followed by TBS, holiday movie-focused Hallmark Channel, Freeform, as well as perennial cable power USA.

Fox finished seventh in the prime time demo, beating out CNN (No. 20), and MSNBC (No. 11) in the measurement.

Speaking of MSNBC, the network may have fallen outside of the Top 10 in the demo, but it finished No. 4 in total prime time viewers, and No. 3 in total day viewers this past week, once again showing incredible year-over-year audience growth.

CNN had a quiet week in prime time (No. 19 in total viewers), but still managed to earn a Top 10 finish in total day (No. 9 to be exact).

And then there’s Hallmark Channel, which continues to attract millions of viewers with a seemingly never ending slate of holiday movies. Hallmark was the third-most-watched basic cable network this past week in prime time, No. 3 in the prime time demo, and No. 2 in total day viewers.

Also, Fox Business defeated rival CNBC in Business Day, both in total viewers and among adults 25-54.

Below is a look at the Top 5 basic cable networks for the week of December 18.

Prime Time:

  1. ESPN (2,997,000)
  2. Fox News (2,703,000)
  3. Hallmark (2,223,000)
  4. MSNBC (2,071,000)
  5. USA (1,470,000)

Total Day:

  1. Fox News (1,702,000)
  2. Hallmark Channel (1,082,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,044,000)
  4. Nickelodeon (1,015,000)
  5. ESPN (959,000)

And here are two larger lists showing basic cable network ratings performance for the week of December 18. The first is ranked by Total Viewers, and the second by Adults 25-54.

Click on the “+” to zoom in.

Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Dec. 18 (Total Viewers)

Basic Cable Ranker Week of Dec. 18 (A25-54)