Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Nov. 18

By A.J. Katz Comment

Fox News’ coverage of the Trump impeachment hearings drew more viewers than any other network, and that’s the main reason why the week of Nov. 18 was the highest-rated week of the year for the network in total day.

Not only did Fox News set a personal record for the year, but it was was the most-watched network across all of basic cable in total day for the 46th consecutive week, averaging 1.7 million viewers from 6 a.m. – 6 a.m. ET. FNC averaged a whopping 3.02 million viewers in prime time, also No. 1 across all of basic cable for the week.

In addition, Fox News was the No. 1 cable news network for the 16th consecutive week among adults 25-54, averaging 283,000 in cable news for total day and the highest-rated week of the year in the demo. In prime time, FNC marked its second highest-rated week of the year in total viewers.

Hannity was the most-watched non-sports cable program for the week (4.1 million total viewers), followed by Tucker Carlson Tonight with 3.7 million viewers, and MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show. FNC’s programs made up 17 of the top 30 cable telecasts in total viewers, with presentations of The Five, Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity and The Ingraham Angle.

FNC’s prime time programs all had their most-watched week of 2019 in total viewers: Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream (1.7 million viewers), The Ingraham Angle (3.2 million), Hannity and Tucker Carlson Tonight.

However, there are other cable news networks out there not named Fox News, and they had pretty good weeks as well. MSNBC and CNN also earned top 5 spots in the basic cable rankings for the week of Nov. 18. MSNBC finished No. 3 in total prime time viewers, No. 2 in total day, and also beat Fox News and CNN last week in the prime time demo.

CNN was the 5th-ranked basic cable network last week, both in prime time and in total day viewership.

And as one might have guessed, all three cable newsers posted significant year-over-year total audience growth. The combination of impeachment coverage along with the fact that the comparable week last year included Thanksgiving, made year-over-year growth quite likely.

Cable News Rankings (Total Viewers)

  • FNC ranked No. 1 in prime time (3,015,000) and No. 1 in total day (1,736,000)
  • MSNBC ranked No. 3 in prime time (2,474,000) and No. 2 in total day (1,417,000)
  • CNN ranked No. 5 in prime time (1,175,000) and No. 5 in total day (909,000)

Cable News Ratings (A25-54)

  • MSNBC – Prime time (468,000) and Total Day (231,000)
  • FNC – Prime time (442,000) and Total Day (283,000)
  • CNN – Prime time (288,000) and Total Day (218,000)

Below is the Top 10 in prime time, followed by the Top 10 in total day and a more expansive basic cable network ranker for the week of Nov.18. Per usual, the data is Nielsen live-plus-same day.

Basic Cable Top 10 – Prime Time (Total Viewers)

      1. Fox News (3,015,000)
      2. ESPN (2,659,000)
      3. MSNBC (2,474,000)
      4. Hallmark Channel (1,576,000)
      5. CNN (1,175,000)
      6. A&E (958,000)
      7. Discovery (958,000)
      8. HGTV (958,000)
      9. Food Network (893,000)
      10. History (892,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

      1. Fox News (1,736,000)
      2. MSNBC (1,417,000)
      3. ESPN (961,000)
      4. Hallmark Channel (917,000)
      5. CNN (909,000)
      6. Nickelodeon (618,000)
      7. HGTV (576,000)
      8. Food (562,000)
      9. Investigation Discovery (556,000)
      10. A&E (514,000)

Basic cable ranker: Week of Nov. 18 (Total Viewers)