Cable Network Ranker: Week of August 7

By A.J. Katz 

The cable news networks continue to thrive in the ratings department this summer, and frankly this year.

Fox News finished the week of August 7th as the No. 1 basic cable network, both in total day viewers and in prime time viewers. Fox News has now achieved the distinction of No. 1 in total day for 32 consecutive weeks, and No. 1 in prime time for 12 consecutive weeks, per Nielsen data.

The network posted +20 percent growth in prime time viewers and +6 percent growth in total day viewers versus the comparable week in 2016.

Fox News also finished No. 6 across basic cable among prime time demo viewers, and No. 3 in total day demo viewers.

Additionally, this past Saturday, during coverage of the white nationalist and neo-Nazi protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville, VA, Fox News was the most-watched cable news network in total viewers.

MSNBC was the No. 2 basic cable network in prime time viewers this past week, posting +72 percent year-over-year growth in the process. The network finished No. 3 in total day viewers, and posted +57 percent total viewer growth in the daypart.

MS finished No. 10 in the prime time demo and No. 12 in the total day demo.

It’s worth noting that comparable week last year (Aug. 8, 2016) was the opening week of the 2016 Rio Olympics, with competitions airing across the NBC family of networks.

CNN was a top 10 basic cable network in total viewers this past week. The network posted +47 percent total viewer growth in prime time, and +12 percent total viewer growth in total day from last year. The network finished No. 13 in the prime time demo, and No. 9 in the total day demo.

Below is a look at the top 5 basic cable networks of the week in total viewers. NFL Network shoots up in the prime time hierarchy thanks to preseason NFL coverage.

Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime time (Total Viewers)

  1. FNC (2,136,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,754,000)
  3. USA (1,429,000)
  4. HGTV (1,409,000)
  5. NFL Network (1,280,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. FNC (1,332,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (1,167 ,000)
  3. MSNBC (944,000)
  4. HGTV (794,000)
  5. Adult Swim (782,000)

CNBC ranked No. 43 in total prime time viewers, and No. 51 in total day viewers.

HLN ranked No. 47 in total prime time viewers, and No. 39 in total day viewers.

Fox Business ranked No. 82 in total prime time viewers, and No. 64 in total day viewers.

Business Day (M-F 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET)

FBN: 191,000 total viewers / 24,000 A25-54

CNBC: 151,000 total viewers / 26,000 A25-54

Cable Prime (M-Sun, 8 – 11 p.m. ET)

FBN: 99,000 total viewers /  15,000 A25-54

CNBC: 328,000 total viewers / 147,000 A25-54


Basic cable ranker: Week of August 7 (Total Viewers)

Basic cable ranker: Week of Aug. 7 (Adults 25-54)