Basic Cable Ranker: Week of July 29

By A.J. Katz Comment

The spotlight was on CNN last week, as the network hosted Democratic presidential primary debates on back-to-back nights live from Detroit.

As one might have guessed, it completed the week of July 29 as the No. 1 basic cable network in prime time, averaging 3.27 million total viewers in the daypart. CNN averaged +695,000 more prime time viewers than its closest competitor, a significant margin of victory for the network.

CNN was also the top cable news network among adults 25-54, and finished the week as the second-most-watched basic cable network in total day.

Which network was No. 1 for the week in total day? That would be Fox News.

FNC ran its streak to 30 consecutive weeks at No. 1 in the 6 a.m. – 6 a.m. daypart, with a 1.45 million viewer average. No network came close to averaging a million viewers in that daypart. Fox News also averaged 2.57 million viewers in prime time this past week, second only to CNN. Fox News’ streak as basic cable’s most-watched network in prime time ends at 11 weeks.

MSNBC was the third-most-watched basic cable network last night, both in total day and the prime time dayparts.

The three-most-watched cable networks last week were of the cable news variety.

When compared with the same week in 2018, Fox News was +7% in total prime time viewers. The network didn’t seem to be negatively impacted by CNN’s prime time debates, ratings-wise. MSNBC, on the other hand, was -21% in total prime time viewers, while CNN was predictably WAY up (+259%), thanks to the debates. In total day, Fox was +10%, MSNBC was -12% and CNN was +56%.

Cable News Week of July 15 (Total Viewers)

CNN: Prime Time (3,260,000) and Total Day (995,000)
Fox News: Prime Time (2,565,000) and Total Day (1,453,000)
MSNBC: Prime Time (1,273,000) and Total Day (855,000)

Cable News Week of July 15 (Adults 25-54)
CNN: Prime Time (916,000) and Total Day (264,000)
Fox News: Prime Time (415,000) and Total Day (258,000)
MSNBC: Prime Time (190,000) and Total Day (126,000)

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:

PRIME TIME (Total Viewers)

  1. CNN (3,260,000)
  2. Fox News (2,565,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,273,000)
  4. Discovery (1,224,000)
  5. HGTV (1,219,000)
  6. TBS (1,079,000)
  7. A&E (1,032,000)
  8. TLC (1,020,000)
  9. Hallmark (980,000)
  10. USA (979,000)

TOTAL DAY:

  1. Fox News (1,453,000)
  2. CNN (995,000)
  3. MSNBC (855,000)
  4. Nickelodeon (756,000)
  5. HGTV (679,000)
  6. Investigation Discovery (633,000)
  7. Discovery (549,000)
  8. Hallmark (527,000)
  9. History (525,000)
  10. A&E (504,000)

Source: Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. 7/29/2019 – 08/4/2019. M-Su 8p-11p / M-Su 6a-6a

Basic cable ranker: Week of July 29 (Total Viewers)

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