Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Oct. 8

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News was the No. 1 basic cable network in total day viewing for the week of Oct. 8, which now marks 40 straight weeks at the top of the charts, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data.

FNC slipped to second place behind TBS among all basic cable networks. TBS was No. 1 across the board, by far, thanks to its coverage of the Yankees-Red Sox ALDS.

Despite slipping to second, Fox News posted +20 percent growth in prime time viewers and +13 percent growth in total day viewers versus the comparable week last year, which also featured playoff baseball.

Fox News’ dominance over cable news continued this past week. In prime time, FNC beat CNN and MSNBC combined in total viewers among total viewers for the second consecutive week, in addition to beating CNN and MSNBC combined in total day yet again.

Multiple FNC telecasts delivered more total viewers than NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football broadcast, and FNC claimed 10 of the top 20 cable telecasts overall in total viewers, including presentations of Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Ingraham Angle and The Story with Martha MacCallum.

The Story with Martha MacCallum (Fox News’ 7 p.m. hour) was the most-watched cable news hour for the week, averaging 4 million total viewers.  The Monday, Oct. 8 telecast included special coverage of the swearing in ceremony of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Hannity had the No. 1 on cable news among A25-54.

MSNBC ranked No. 4 in total viewers the past week, both in prime time (1.59 million) and in total day (852,000) viewers. Compared to the same week in 2017, MSNBC was -4 percent in prime and -3 percent in total day viewers.

CNN maintained a top 10 ranking in total day viewers, with an 8th place finish (634,000). The network dropped to No. 14 in total prime time viewers (832,000). Compared to the same week last year, CNN was -1 in prime time viewers, and -5 percent in total day viewers.


Week of Oct. 8:

Basic Cable Top 10 – Prime time (Total Viewers)

  1. TBS (3,575,000)
  2. Fox News (2,612,000)
  3. ESPN (2,602,000)
  4. MSNBC (1,509,000)
  5. Hallmark Channel (1,140,000)
  6. HGTV (1,124,000)
  7. USA (1,072,000)
  8. FS1 (1,057,000)
  9. TLC (962,000)
  10. Discovery (875,000)

Basic Cable Top 10 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,590,000)
  2. TBS (975,000)
  3. ESPN (922,000)
  4. MSNBC (852,000)
  5. Nickelodeon (804,000)
  6. Hallmark Channel (695,000)
  7. HGTV (668,000)
  8. CNN (634,000)
  9. Investigation Discovery (633,000)
  10. USA (541,000)

Basic cable ranker: Week of Oct. 8 (Total Viewers)

Here are the weekly FBN ratings:


Business Day (9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET)

  • FBN: 202,000 total viewers and 21,000 A25-54
  • CNBC: 184,000 total viewers and 34,000 A25-54

Market Hours (9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET)

  • FBN: 201,000 total viewers and 22,000 A25-54
  • CNBC: 184,000 total viewers and 35,000 A25-54

Ratings for the top four business programs:

  • Lou Dobbs Tonight (340,000),
  • Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman (226,000)
  • Varney & Co. (222,000)
  • After the Bell (203,000)