Basic Cable Ranker: Week of July 1

By A.J. Katz 

With an assist from its live coverage of President Trump’s July 4th Salute to America event, Fox News finished No. 1 across basic cable last week, both in the 6 a.m. – 6 a.m. total day time period, and in prime time.

Mike Emanuel stepped in for Bret Baier to anchor coverage of Trump’s speech, which delivered over 4.6 million total viewers and 793,000 in the 25-54 demographic from 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET.

Additionally, July 4 2019 marked FNC’s most-watched July 4th ever in prime time, in both total viewers and 25-54 demo.


Presentations of Special Report, Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity, The Five, The Ingraham Angle and Justice with Judge Jeanine made up 20 of the top 30 broadcasts of the week in total viewers. Additionally, FNC prime time programs made up five of the top 10 cable broadcasts in total viewers.

MSNBC held onto its usual spot as the second-most-watched network on basic cable during prime time. However, the network fell to third place in total day, averaging 708,000 viewers, its lowest weekly total viewer average of 2019 to-date.

CNN remained a top 10 network in total day viewers last week, and posted year-over-year prime time audience growth despite falling to No. 15 in prime time. Despite its success in overall viewership compared to the same week in 2018, the network averaged only 165,000 A25-54 viewers in prime time, the network’s lowest average since 2015.

MSNBC beat CNN in prime time last week, both in total viewers and the A25-54 demo, while CNN beat its rival in the aforementioned demo across total day.

When compared with the same holiday week in 2018. Fox News was -7% in total prime time viewers, MSNBC was -11% in total prime time viewers, and CNN was actually +5%. In total day, Fox was flat, MSNBC was -7% and CNN was -1%.

The cable newsers continue to lose adults 25-54. Fox was -15% in prime time, MSNBC was -29%, and CNN was -31%. In the total day demo, Fox was -11%, MSNBC was -31% and CNN was -29% vs. last year.

Cable News Week of June 17 (Total Viewers)
Fox News: Prime Time (2,060,000) and Total Day (1,277,000)
MSNBC: Prime Time (1,193,000) and Total Day (708,000)
CNN: Prime Time (705,000) and Total Day (527,000)

Cable News Week of June 17 (Adults 25-54)
Fox News: Prime Time (304,000) and Total Day (215,000)
MSNBC: Prime Time (169,000) and Total Day (120,000)
CNN: Prime Time (165,000) and Total Day (100,000)

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, here are the 10 most-watched basic cable networks for the week in total day and prime time:


  1. Fox News Channel (2,060,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,193,000)
  3. HGTV (1,152,000)
  4. USA (1,023,000)
  5. TLC (996,000)
  6. History (893,000)
  7. Hallmark Channel (860,000)
  8. Investigation Discovery (845,000)
  9. INSP (776,000)
  10. TBS (769,000)


  1. Fox News (1,277,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (736,000)
  3. MSNBC (708,000)
  4. HGTV (700,000)
  5. ID (652,000)
  6. ESPN (595,000)
  7. CNN (527,000)
  8. Food Network (507,000)
  9. History (495,000)
  10. USA (492,000)

Basic cable ranker: Week of July 1 (Total Viewers)