Cable Network Ranker: Week of August 28

By A.J. Katz 

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Per Nielsen data, Fox News finished the week of August 28th as the most-watched basic cable network in total day for the 35th consecutive week, posting +12 percent year-over-year total audience growth in the process.

FNC was also the No. 1 basic cable network in total prime time viewers for the 15th straight week, though it posted -1 percent audience loss versus the same week last year (Aug. 29, 2016).

Fox News managed to defeat its cable news rivals across multiple dayparts in total viewers as well as in the ad-friendly A25-54 demo, but wasn’t able to post as much year-over-year audience growth as MSNBC (+49 percent in prime time / +46 percent in total day) or CNN (+19 percent in prime time / +30 percent in total day).

MSNBC finished close to Fox News in the race for who can get the most total prime time viewers across basic cable. It was the second-most-watched basic cable network of the week. MSNBC also managed to edge CNN in total day viewers, though CNN’s 4th place finish across basic cable isn’t too shabby.

CNN, on the other hand, defeated MSNBC in the advertiser-friendly A25-54 demo across multiple dayparts. The network finished No. 8 in the prime time demo (compared to MSNBC’s 10th place finish) and No. 8 in total day demo (compared to MSNBC’s 13th place finish) this past week.

Here’s the list of basic cable’s 5 most-watched networks for the week of August 28:

Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime time (total viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,169,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,801,000)
  3. ESPN (1,761,000)
  4. USA (1,543,000)
  5. HGTV (1,360,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (total viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,449,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (1,029,000)
  3. MSNBC (973,000)
  4. CNN (841,000)
  5. Adult Swim (802,000)

Ratings performance for the other cable news networks can be found in the weekly basic cable ranker below:

Basic cable ranker: Week of Aug. 28 (Total Viewers)