Basic Cable Ratings: Week of Nov. 12

By A.J. Katz Comment

Fox News Channel was the most-watched network in total day in all of basic cable for the 45th consecutive week, and the second-most-watched basic cable network in prime time. ESPN topped Fox News in total prime time viewers, and was the No. 1 in network in cable prime time across the board.

Half of the 40-most-watched cable telecasts for the week aired on Fox News, with Tucker Carlson Tonight and Hannity making up six of the top 20 cable telecasts in total viewers.

FNC posted +1 percent growth in total day viewers, but was -1 percent in prime time viewers vs. the comparable week last year, and as shown below, dominated its cable news competition across the board:

Cable News Ratings (Total Viewers)

  • FNC averaged 2,292,000 in prime time and 1,429,000 in total day
  • CNN averaged 1,048,000 in prime time and 769,000 in total day
  • MSNBC averaged 1,853,000 prime time and 1,049,000 in total day

Cable News Ratings (A25-54)

  • FNC averaged 406,000 in prime time and 276,000 in total day
  • CNN averaged 312,000 in prime time and 226,000 in total day
  • MSNBC averaged 314,000 in prime time and 178,000 in total day

MSNBC edged CNN in prime time across the board. Its prime time demo win was exclusively due to the performance of Rachel Maddow. CNN regularly beat MSNBC in the 8 and 10 p.m. hours last week among adults 25-54, but Maddow’s audience was enough to lift MSNBC to second place behind Fox News.

Speaking of Maddow – She just so happened to have the most-watched show on cable news for the week, and lifted MSNBC to across-the-board growth in total viewers (+6 percent in prime time / +8 percent in total day) vs. the comparable week in 2017.

CNN had a solid week despite finishing third in prime time. It posted double digit growth vs. the comparable week in 2017, +26 in total prime time viewers and +13 percent in total day viewers. The network also beat MSNBC among adults 25-54 across the 24-hour day.

Below is a look at the 10-most-watched basic cable networks for the week of Nov. 12, both in prime time and in total day audience. This is according to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen:

Basic Cable Top 10 – Prime Time

  1. ESPN (2,438,000)
  2. Fox News (2,292,000)
  3. Hallmark Channel (2,140,000)
  4. MSNBC (1,853,000)
  5. USA (1,190,000)
  6. History (1,135,000)
  7. HGTV (1,074,000)
  8. A&E (1,054,000)
  9. CNN (1,048,000)
  10. Investigation Discovery (996,000)

Basic Cable Top 10 – Total Day

  1. Fox News (1,429,000)
  2. Hallmark Channel (1,161,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,049,000)
  4. Nickelodeon (888,000)
  5. ESPN (879,000)
  6. CNN (769,000)
  7. Investigation Discovery (696,000)
  8. HGTV (646,000)
  9. Food Network (590,000)
  10. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (562,000)

Basic cable network ranker: Week of Nov. 12 (Total Viewers)

Business Day (9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET)

FBN: 196,000 total viewers and 18,000 A25-54

CNBC: 191,000 total viewers and 37,000 A25-54

Market Hours (9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET)

FBN: 199,000 total viewers and 17,000 A25-54

CNBC: 193,000 total viewers and 38,000 A25-54

Ratings for the top 10 business programs (total viewers):

  • Lou Dobbs Tonight (352,000)
  •  Varney & Co. (246,000)
  • Squawk on the Street (200,000)
  •  Fast Money Halftime Report (193,000)
  •  Power Lunch (193,000)
  •  Countdown to the Closing Bell (191,000)
  • Closing Bell (191,000),
  • Squawk Alley (171,000)
  • Mad Money (171,000)
  • After the Bell (170,000)

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