Cable Network Ranker: Week of May 29

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News, CNN and MSNBC posted significant year-over-year total audience growth during the week of May 29, 2017.

For the 22nd straight week, Fox News was basic cable’s most-watched network across the 6 a.m. – 6 a.m. daypart. In prime time, FNC marked two weeks as the most-watched basic cable network.

Fox News programs made up 15 of the week’s top 30 basic cable telecasts in total viewers, including presentations of Special Report with Bret Baier, Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Five and Hannity.


Fox News posted +30 percent growth in total prime time viewers, and +30 percent growth in total day viewers versus the same week in 2016.

Here are basic cable’s top 5 networks for the week of May 29, ranked by total viewers:

Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime time

  1. Fox News (2,241,000)
  2. HGTV (1,502,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,357,000)
  4. USA (1,224,000)
  5. TBS (1,217,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day 

  1. Fox News (1,383,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (1,171,000)
  3. HGTV (857,000)
  4. MSNBC (804,000)
  5. CNN (798,000)

In addition to Fox News, MSNBC remained a top 5 network in total audience, both in prime time and total day viewers. The network posted +86 percent year-over-year prime time audience growth, and +74 percent year-over-year total day audience growth this past week.

Multiple presentations of The Rachel Maddow Show (hosted by Ari Melber last week) made basic cable’s top 30 in total viewers. The Thursday episode finished No. 21, Wednesday’s was No. 23, and Tuesday’s was No. 26.

CNN was a top 10 basic cable network this past week, both in total prime time viewers (No. 6) and in total day viewers (No. 5). The network posted +61 percent growth in prime time and +47 percent growth in total viewers relative to last year.

CNN also defeated MSNBC in the ad-friendly A25-54 demo during Monday – Sunday prime time and during total day.

Elsewhere across the cable news landscape, CNBC (+2 percent) and Fox Business (+4 percent) posted year-over-year prime time audience growth, while HLN saw a -5 percent decline in the daypart.

CNBC (-10 percent) and HLN (-13 percent) were down year-over-year in total day viewers, while Fox Business posted +19 percent total viewer growth from the same week last year.

Cable Network Ranker: Week of May 29 (Total Viewers)