Fox News, MSNBC Are Top 5 Cable Networks

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News topped the basic cable landscape for the 25th consecutive week in total day viewership, per Nielsen data. The network also finished No. 1 in total prime time viewers for the 5th consecutive week. FNC programs made up 11 of the top 20 telecasts in total viewers, led by the prime time slate of Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Five and Hannity.

Fox News moved past MSNBC this past week in the prime time demo, and remains ahead in total viewers in prime time and across total day.

MSNBC defeated CNN in total prime time viewers for the 22nd consecutive week, and in total day audience for the 18th straight week.

CNN remained a top 10 basic cable network in total audience. It finished No. 9 in prime time and No. 10 in total day this past week.

Elsewhere in the cable news landscape, CNBC ranked No. 44 in prime time, and No. 60 in total day. HLN ranked No. 45 in prime time, and No. 42 in total day. Fox Business ranked No. 81 in prime time, and No. 65 in total day.

Here’s a look at basic cable’s most-watched networks for the week of June 19th, both in total day as well as in prime time:

Basic Cable Top 10 – Prime time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,419,000)
  2. ESPN (1,608,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,539,000)
  4. HGTV (1,473,000)
  5. USA (1,435,000)
  6. TBS (1,409,000)
  7. A&E (1,021,000)
  8. Discovery (989,000)
  9. CNN (961,000)
  10. History (940,000)


Basic Cable Top 10 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. FNC (1,429,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (1,196,000)
  3. HGTV (842,000)
  4. MSNBC (820,000)
  5. Adult Swim (795,000)
  6. Cartoon Network (760,000)
  7. USA (712,000)
  8. Investigation Discovery (699,000)
  9. Nick-at-Nite (673,000)
  10. CNN (668,000)

The BET Awards Show (3.83 million viewers) was the most-watched cable broadcast of the week, followed by The 2017 NBA Draft on ESPN (3.43 million viewers). The Wednesday edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight finished No. 3 in total viewers (3.30 million), Wednesday’s edition of The Five finished No. 4 (3.26 million), and NASCAR on Fox Sports 1 (3.24 million) round out basic cable’s 5-most-watched broadcasts of the week.

Basic Cable Network Ranker: Week of June 19 (Total Viewers)