Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Feb. 5

By A.J. Katz 

Another week, another win for Fox News in prime time and in total day.

FNC ranked No. 1 across cable in total day (6 a.m. – 6 a.m.) for the fifth consecutive week, and dominated by a significant margin. That said, the network was -13 percent in total day viewers from the comparable week in 2017.

The network earned another No. 1 finish for the week of Feb. 5 in prime time viewers. But similar to its performance in total day, FNC was -13 percent in prime time versus the same week last year.


Despite the year-over-year audience declines, Fox News programming were among the most-watched across all of cable this past week. Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight and The Ingraham Angle made up 11 of the top 20 telecasts in total viewers.

FNC also finished No. 4 in the prime time demo (A25-54), ahead of MSNBC (No. 13) and CNN (No. 19).

MSNBC scored another top 5 finish, both in prime time (No. 2 overall), and in total day (No. 3 overall). Not only did MSNBC keep its spot in the top 5, but it posted double digit growth in prime time viewers (+22 percent) and in total day viewers (+26 percent).

MSNBC defeated rival CNN in the prime time demo, but fell short to CNN among A25-54 across total day (No. 15 vs. No. 12).

CNN, as mentioned knocked off its rival MSNBC among adults 25-54 in total day, but struggled relative to last year in prime time. The network was -30 percent in total prime time viewers, and -23 percent in total day viewers from last year.

ESPN, No. 3 in total prime viewers, posted +4 percent growth in the daypart from the same week last year. The network also took the top spot across basic cable last week among adults 25-54 in prime time. (604,000)

Then there’s NBCSN, which is thriving right now in the ratings department thanks to its coverage of the 2018 Pyeyongchang Winter Games. NBCSN ranked in the top 3 last week among adults 25-54, and in the top 10 in total viewers.

Basic Cable Top 10 – Prime time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,605,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,747,000)
  3. ESPN (1,385,000)
  4. HGTV (1,364,000)
  5. History (1,316,000)
  6. USA (1,242,000)
  7. Investigation Discovery (1,148,000)
  8. NBC Sports Network (1,081,000)
  9. TNT (1,041,000)
  10. Discovery (997,000)

Basic Cable Top 10 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,529,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (982,000)
  3. MSNBC (972,000)
  4. HGTV (821,000)
  5. Investigation Discovery (781,000)
  6. NBC Sports Network (704,000)
  7. USA (695,000)
  8. History (676,000)
  9. CNN (674,000)
  10. ESPN (648,000)

Basic cable ranker: Week of Feb. 5 (total viewers)

Basic cable ranker: Week of Feb. 5 (Adults 25-54)