Basic Cable Ranker: Week of June 10

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News marked 23 consecutive weeks as the most-watched basic cable network across total day, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. The network averaged 1.2 million total viewers across 6 a.m. – 6 a.m., and 187,000 in the 25-54 demo for the week of June 10.

FNC was also No. 1 in total prime time viewers for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 2.3 million total viewers and 315,000 A25-54 demo viewers in the daypart.

The Monday, June 10 broadcast of Hannity delivered 3.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched basic cable telecast of the week. In addition to Hannity, presentations of Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Ingraham Angle, The Five and Special Report with Bret Baier claimed 19 of the top 25 cable telecasts overall in total viewers

Despite dominating its cable news competition and finishing at the top of the basic cable heap among total viewers, FNC was down year-over-year by double digits.

To be fair, the U.S.-North Korea summit took place in Singapore during the same week last year, and was intensely covered by Fox News and the other networks.

Speaking of being down – CNN and MSNBC are losing momentum with younger viewers relative to the first half of 2019.

MS had its lowest-rated week of the year in the prime time demo, and CNN had its lowest-rated week of the year among the demo in the 6a-6a daypart. However, MSNBC continued to deliver huge total audiences. For the week of June 10, MSNBC remained the second-most-watched network on basic cable in total viewers, and actually posted slight total day viewer growth from last year.

Additionally, CNN managed to gain a top 10 spot in total day viewers this past week (No. 9 overall).

Head to head, MSNBC defeated CNN in the prime time demo, while CNN beat MSNBC in the total day demo.

It’s not totally shocking that CNN and MSNBC are seeing ratings declines right now. For one – the president isn’t embroiled in a major controversy (at the moment), something which would probably lift MSNBC’s ratings. Democratic primary debate season hasn’t started yet, and one would think that coverage of these events will likely lift ratings for the network’s progressive programming.

Versus the comparable week in 2018, Fox News was -22% in total prime time viewers, MSNBC was -14% in total prime time viewers, and CNN was -28%. In total day viewers, Fox was -22%, MSNBC was actually +3% and CNN was -10%.

Cable News Average Audience (Adults 25-54)
Fox News: Prime Time (315,000) and Total Day (187,000)
MSNBC: Prime Time (192,000) and Total Day (112,000)
CNN: Prime Time (173,000) and Total Day (117,000)

Lastly – 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 (2,260,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,513,000)
  3. HGTV (1,330,000)
  4. A&E (1,164,000)
  5. USA (1,015,000)
  6. History (959,000)
  7. Hallmark (926,000)
  8. TBS (911,000)
  9. ID (896,000)
  10. TLC (982,000)


  1. Fox News (1,225,000)
  2. MSNBC (850,000)
  3. HGTV (694,000)
  4. ID (664,000)
  5. Nickelodeon (651,000)
  6. History (533,000)
  7. Food Network (532,000)
  8. A&E (522,000)
  9. CNN (519,000)
  10. USA (512,000)

Basic cable ranker: Week of June 10