Basic Cable Ranker: Week of June 3

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News marked 22 consecutive weeks as the most-watched basic cable network across total day, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. The network averaged 1.3 million viewers across 6 a.m. – 6 a.m. delivered 213,000 in the 25-54 demo.

FNC was also No. 1 in total prime time viewers for the third consecutive week, averaging 2.3 million total viewers in the daypart.

The network off to a hot start last week, as the Monday edition of Hannity averaged 3.2 million total viewers. That ended up being the largest audience for any cable telecast last week.


In addition to Hannity, presentations of Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Ingraham Angle, The Five and Special Report with Bret Baier claimed 20 of the top 30 cable telecasts overall in total viewers. Additionally, on Wednesday, June 5, Tucker Carlson Tonight topped MSNBC’s town hall with Democratic Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren in both total viewers and in the demo.

MSNBC and Fox News split multiple hours last week. Neil Cavuto was No. 1 in the 4 p.m. hour among adults 25-54, while Nicolle Wallace was No. 1 in the hour among total viewers. Shannon Bream and Brian Williams split cable news’ 11 p.m. hour last week, with Bream finishing No. 1 in the demo for the 11th consecutive week, and Williams continuing his own streak at No. 1 in total viewers.

CNN was the No. 6 cable network in total day viewers this past week, averaging 531,000 in the daypart. However, the network also had its lowest-rated week of the year in the A25-54 news demo.

MSNBC tied for its lowest-rated week in total day. However, like CNN, MSNBC scored a top 10 spot across basic cable in total viewers (No. 2 overall).

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

Versus the comparable week in 2018, Fox News was -4% in total prime time viewers, MSNBC was -4% in total prime time viewers, and CNN was -33%. In total day viewers, Fox was -7%, MSNBC was -5% and CNN was -21%.

When it came to adults 25-54, the story–relative to last year–was worse. Fox News was -25%, MSNBC -32% and CNN -55% in the prime time demo vs. the comparable week last year. Fox was -22%, MSNBC -31% and CNN -45% in the total day demo vs. the comparable week last year.

Cable News Average Audience (Adults 25-54)
Fox News: Prime Time (341,000) and Total Day (213,000)
MSNBC: Prime Time (215,000) and Total Day (113,000)
CNN: Prime Time (178,000) and Total Day (126,000)

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 (2,340,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,580,000)
  3. HGTV (1,289,000)
  4. USA (1,041,000)
  5. TNT (1,028,000)
  6. History (1,017,000)
  7. Hallmark Channel (965,000)
  8. A&E (955,000)
  9. TBS (915,000)
  10. TLC (912,000)


  1. Fox News (1,302,000)
  2. MSNBC (869,000)
  3. Nickelodeon (741,000)
  4. HGTV (696,000)
  5. Investigation Discovery (652,000)
  6. CNN (531,000)
  7. History (528,000)
  8. TNT (526,000)
  9. USA (523,000)
  10. Hallmark Channel (508,000)


Basic cable ranker: Week of June 3 (Total Viewers)