Basic Cable Ranker: Week of May 27

By A.J. Katz Comment

Fox News finished the week of May 27 as the most-watched basic cable network in total day (6 a.m. – 6 a.m) and prime time, marking the second consecutive week it has finished No. 1 in both dayparts in total viewers.

The Wednesday, May 29 edition of Hannity averaged 3.51 million total viewers, which is more than the total average audience for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals on NBCSN. The puck for Game 2 dropped in Boston at 8 p.m. ET, while Hannity airs in the 9 p.m. slot. It’s not known how the two programs stacked up when they went head-to-head at 9 p.m.

*Update (Wednesday morning): The May 29 edition of Hannity indeed averaged more total viewers than Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals on NBCSN when the two went head-to-head in Hannity’s 9 p.m. hour: 3.51 million vs. 3.49 million.

In addition to Hannity, presentations of Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Ingraham Angle, America’s Newsroom and The Five claimed 15 of the top 25 cable telecasts overall in total viewers.

In the 11 p.m. hour, Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream earned its 10th consecutive weekly win in the A25-54 demo. However, MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams beat Fox News @ Night in total viewers.

For the week, FNC averaged just under 1.3 million total day viewers and 2.3 million total prime time viewers.

MSNBC was the second-most-watched basic cable network for the week, both in total day (890,000) and in prime time (1.52 million). CNN was the No.7 basic cable network of the week in total day (559,000), and No. 16 in prime time (755,000).

Versus the comparable week in 2018, Fox News was +5% in total prime time viewers, MSNBC was +2% in total prime time viewers, and CNN was +1% in that same daypart. In total day viewers, Fox was -3%, MSNBC was +7% and CNN was -2%.

When it came to adults 25-54, the story was different. Fox News was -18%, MSNBC -26% and CNN -17% in the prime time demo vs. the comparable week last year. Fox was -19%, MSNBC -27% and CNN -19% in the total day demo vs. last year.

Cable News Average Audience (Adults 25-54)
Fox News: Prime Time (339,000) and Total Day (210,000)
CNN: Prime Time (203,000) and Total Day (144,000)
MSNBC: Prime Time (209,000) and Total Day (124,000)

The cable newsers are banking on younger news viewers to return in 2020. Will that happen? That remains to be seen…

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

  1. Fox News Channel (2,303,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,519,000)
  3. HGTV (1,308,000)
  4. USA (1,131,000)
  5. Hallmark (1,111,000)
  6. History (1,031,000)
  7. A&E (1,010,000)
  8. NBCSN (977,000)
  9. ESPN (956,000)
  10. Investigation Discovery (930,000)

TOTAL DAY:

  1. Fox News (1,277,000)
  2. MSNBC (890,000)
  3. Nickelodeon (750,000)
  4. HGTV (712,000)
  5. ID (676,000)
  6. Hallmark (570,000)
  7. CNN (559,000)
  8. USA (551,000)
  9. History (550,000)
  10. ESPN (544,000)

Basic Cable Ranker: Week of May 27 (Total Viewers)

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