Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Nov. 5

By A.J. Katz Comment

Lifted by its record-breaking mid-terms coverage, Fox News Channel was the most-watched network across of basic cable for the week of Nov. 5, according to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen.

In total day, FNC averaged 1.9 million total viewers, marking 44 consecutive weeks as the most-watched basic cable network in total viewers.

In prime time, the network garnered 3.36 million total viewers, topping ESPN.

Last week, FNC had its highest Monday through Friday total day week of the year among the 25-54 demographic (483,000). It’s tough to deny that there was more interest than usual in the network among adults 25-54 because of the mid-terms.

The network was +41 percent in total prime time viewers and +26 percent in total day viewers vs. the same week in 2017.

Fox News beat rivals CNN and MSNBC for the week, both in total viewers and among adults 25-54 across total day and during prime time.

Total Viewers

  • Fox News: 3,356,000 in prime time / 1,868,000 in total day
  • MSNBC: 2,373,000 in prime time / 1,265,000 in total day
  • CNN: 1,710,000 in prime time / 1,011,000 in total day


  • Fox News: 767,000 in prime time / 402,000 in total day
  • CNN: 676,000 in prime time / 341,000 in total day
  • MSNBC: 507,000 in prime time / 244,000 in total day

FNC claimed 16 of the top 30 cable telecasts overall in total viewers, including presentations of America’s Election HQ w/ Bret Baier & Martha MacCallum, Hannity, The Five, The Ingraham Angle, Special Report with Bret Baier and Tucker Carlson Tonight. Additionally, FNC made up seven of the top 30 cable telecasts in the 25-54 demo.

Fox & Friends also had its most-watched week of the years (1.9 million) while The Five had its highest rated week of the year in the 25-54 demo (599,000).

Fox News was also the No. 1 network total viewers for prime time coverage of the midterms, while CNN finished ahead of the pack -broadcast and cable- on Tuesday among the key A25-54 demographic. The fact that Fox News and CNN were able to finish No. 1 in these respective categories, ahead of their broadcast network counterparts, is another example of the power of cable news in 2018.

CNN, as previously mentioned, was the network of choice among adults 25-54 for mid-terms coverage. It also earned a top 5 finish across basic cable in prime time viewers (No. 5) and total day viewers (No. 5). It also posted more growth than its competitors: +87 percent in prime time and +42 percent in total day vs. the same week in 2017.

MSNBC earned third place in prime time an second place in total day across basic cable last week. The network was +34 percent in prime time viewers, and +26 percent in total day viewers vs. last year.

Prime time

  1. Fox News (3,356,000)
  2. ESPN (3,035,000)
  3. MSNBC (2,373,000)
  4. Hallmark Channel (2,045,000)
  5. CNN (1,710,000)
  6. USA (1,159,000)
  7. HGTV (1,092,000)
  8. TBS (1,009,000)
  9. Investigation Discovery (985,000)
  10. A&E (912,000)

Total Day

  1. Fox News (1,868,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,265,000)
  3. Hallmark Channel (1,096,000)
  4. ESPN (1,014,000)
  5. CNN (1,011,000)
  6. Nickelodeon (857,000)
  7. Investigation Discovery (680,000)
  8. HGTV (644,000)
  9. USA (591,000)
  10. Food Network (573,000)

Basic cable ranker: Week of Nov. 5 (Total Viewers)


Business Day (9:30 a.m. ET – 5 p.m. ET)

FBN: 248,000 total viewers / 20,000 A25-54

CNBC: 178,000 total viewers / 35,000 A25-54


Market Hours (9:30 a.m. -4 p.m. ET)

FBN: 251,000 total viewers / 20,000 A25-54

CNBC: 183,000 total viewers / 36,000 A25-54


Total Day (6 a.m. – 6 a.m. ET)

FBN: 182,000 total viewers / 19,000 A25-54

CNBC: 135,000 total viewers / 38,000 A25-54


Ratings for the top five business programs in total viewers:

Lou Dobbs Tonight (398,000),

Varney & Co. (292,000),

Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman (243,000)

After the Bell (229,000)

Cavuto: Coast to Coast (224,000)