Cable Network Ranker: Week of Oct. 16

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News continues to lead the race for basic cable ratings supremacy across total day.

FNC ranked No. 1 in total day viewers for the sixth consecutive week, per Nielsen, and finished No. 4 in total prime time viewers for the second consecutive week. The cable news juggernaut finished behind ALCS-focused Fox Sports 1 (Yankees-Astros) and NLCS-focused TBS (Dodgers-Cubs), as well football-focused ESPN.

Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox Sports 1 (3,952,000)
  2. TBS (2,663,000)
  3. ESPN (2,164,000)
  4. Fox News (1,764,000)
  5. TNT (1,565,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,329,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (1,007,000)
  3. MSNBC (889,000)
  4. ESPN (884,000)
  5. Fox Sports 1 (883,000)

For the week of October 16, FNC programs made up four of the top 20 basic cable telecasts in total viewers, including various presentations of Hannity and Tucker Carlson Tonight. The Wednesday episode of Hannity was the most-watched cable news telecast of the week, and finished No. 16 across all of basic cable in total viewers.

The Wednesday episode of Rachel Maddow was the No. 1 cable news telecast of the week among adults 25-54.

Speaking of MSNBC, the network finished No. 6 in total prime time viewers, and No. 3 in total day viewers across basic cable this past week.

CNN ranked No. 16 in total prime time viewers and No. 11 total day viewers across basic cable this past week.

Each of the big three posted double digit audience declines from the comparable week last year. Expect this trend to be standard as we get closer to the year-ago anniversary of the 2016 election.

Fox Business finished ahead of CNBC in total viewers across the 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. daypart. Additionally, for the 61st consecutive week, Lou Dobbs Tonight on FBN was the No. 1 business news show in total viewers (392,000).

CNBC continues to beat Fox Business in prime time, and is winning the battle for younger news consumers across all dayparts.

Elsewhere on basic cable, AMC’s The Walking Dead returned, and promptly became the No. 1 show on cable across the board, even ahead of the AL Championship Series on Fox Sports 1, ESPN’s Monday Night Football, and the NL Championship Series on TBS.

Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Oct. 16 (Total Viewers)

Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Oct. 16 (A25-54)