Fox News, MSNBC Remain in Top 5 Most-Watched Networks

By A.J. Katz 

ESPN and Fox News topped the basic cable landscape last week in prime time and in total day, respectively.

ESPN, with its college football and pro football-heavy lineup, was by far the most-watched basic cable network of the week in the advertiser-focused prime time daypart. Fox News, Hallmark Channel with its holiday movie slate (yes, already), MSNBC and USA rounded out the top 5.

Fox News has now been the most-watched basic cable network in total day for 9 consecutive weeks.

Hannity claimed 3 of the 10 basic cable telecasts in total viewers and, overall, FNC programs made up 12 of the top 30 programs in all of basic cable, including presentations of Special Report with Bret Baier, The Story with Martha MacCallum, Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity and The Ingraham Angle.

Additionally, OBJECTified, hosted by Harvey Levin, finished No. 1 across the board on Sunday, featuring an episode with 2016 Adweek Brand Genius and former Gov. of California Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Fox News also beat MSNBC and CNN among adults 25-54.

MSNBC was a top 5 basic cable network yet again, finishing No. 4 in total prime time viewers and No. 5 in total day this past week. The network was also able to deliver year-over-year total audience growth despite it being the one-year anniversary week of the 2016 presidential election.

Additionally, Brian Williams was No. 1 at 11 p.m last week. His program, The 11th Hour defeated both Fox News and CNN in all key demos, as well as total viewers.

CNN finished the week as the No. 13 basic cable network in total prime time viewers, and No. 8 in total day viewers.

Top 10 – Prime Time (total viewers)

  1. ESPN (3,376,000)
  2. Fox News (2,387,000)
  3. Hallmark Channel (2,056,000)
  4. MSNBC (1,775,000)
  5. USA (1,273,000)
  6. History (1,182,000)
  7. HGTV (1,120,000)
  8. TBS (1,112,000)
  9. AMC (1,059,000)
  10. Discovery (1,043,000)

Top 10 – Total Day (total viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,485,000)
  2. Hallmark Channel (1,133,000)
  3. Nickelodeon (1,092,000)
  4. ESPN (1,066,000)
  5. MSNBC (1,007,000)
  6. Adult Swim (752,000)
  7. Investigation Discovery (718,000)
  8. CNN (711,000)
  9. HGTV (681,000)
  10. Nick-At-Nite (668,000)

Moving over to business news, Fox Business defeated CNBC in total Business Day viewers for the 23rd consecutive week. Mornings with Maria had its most-watched week of 2017, and Lou Dobbs still hosts the most-watched business news show, extending his streak to 63 consecutive weeks.

CNBC continues to attract more younger news viewers than Fox Business. This includes the ad-friendly A25-54 demo during Business Day and in prime time.

Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Nov. 6 (Total Viewers)