Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Oct. 21

By A.J. Katz 

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Per Nielsen data, Fox News, MSNBC and CNN were among the top 10 basic cable networks in prime time last week, and among the top five across total day.

Fox News maintained its massive total audience across the 24-hour time period, finishing No. 1 among all basic cable networks in total day viewers for the 42nd consecutive week (1.4 million). FNC also finished No. 1 in total day viewers for the month of October.

Fox News finished No. 3 in average total prime time viewers, behind ESPN and TNT, which featured the first games of the new NBA season.

Hannity was among the most-watched shows last week on basic cable, and presentations of The Ingraham Angle, Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Five (and Hannity) made up 10 of the 20 most-watched basic cable telecasts of the week.

Additionally, live breaking news coverage surrounding the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Sunday, October 27th delivered 2.7 million total viewers and 510,000 in the A25-54 demo, far more than the competition.

Fox News defeated MSNBC and CNN competition in the key A25-54 demo as well, although MSNBC made it competitive in prime time.

Speaking of MSNBC, the network wrapped up an impressive month of double-digit ratings growth by finishing No. 3 in total prime time viewers and No. 2 in total day viewers last week. It beat CNN in the key demo last week (but not for the month).

CNN edged rival MSNBC in the prime time A25-54 demo for the month of October (thanks to its prime time Democratic primary debate coverage), and scored top 10 finishes in multiple categories. However, it finished behind MSNBC in prime time last week.

Cable News Rankings (Total Viewers)

  • FNC ranked No. 1 in Prime Time (2,497,000) and No. 1 in Total Day (1,442,000)
  • MSNBC ranked No. 3 in Prime Time (1,852,000) and No. 2 in Total Day (1,090,000)
  • CNN ranked No. 7 in Prime Time (930,000) and No. 4 in Total Day (711,000)

Cable News Ratings (A25-54)

  • FNC – Prime Time (384,000) and Total Day (241,000)
  • MSNBC – Prime Time (300,000) and Total Day (165,000)
  • CNN – Prime Time (231,000) and Total Day (171,000)

Basic cable ranker: Week of Oct. 21 (Total Viewers)