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America’s eyes were glued to the news this past week, even more than usual, as the cable news networks provided extensive coverage of Hurricane Irma.
The four most-watched basic cable networks of the week in total day were all of the cable news variety: The Weather Channel, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.
Four of the top five in prime time were cable news nets, with ESPN wedging itself in between Fox News and The Weather Channel at No. 2.
Fox News earned the distinction of being “the most-watched prime time basic cable network” for the 16th consecutive week, per Nielsen data. The network was +10 percent in total prime time viewers versus the comparable week in 2016.
In total day, however, Fox News dropped to No. 2, as The Weather Channel thrived with its wall-to-wall coverage of Irma and finished at the top of the heap. Fox News had been the most-watched basic cable network in total day for a whopping 35 consecutive weeks before TWC broke the streak.
MSNBC posted +58 percent prime time viewer growth and +72 percent total viewer growth versus the same week last year. The network finished in 4th place across basic cable, both in prime and total day.
CNN was +72 percent in total prime time viewers and +99 percent in total day viewers versus last year. The network ranked No. 5 in prime time, and shot up to No. 3 in total day.
Here are the five most-watched basic cable networks during the week of Sept. 4:
Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime Time (Total Viewers)
- Fox News (2,392,000)
- ESPN (2,386,000)
- The Weather Channel (2,245,000)
- MSNBC (1,959,000)
- CNN (1,824,000)
Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (Total Viewers)
- The Weather Channel (1,778,000)
- Fox News (1,683,000)
- CNN (1,327,000)
- MSNBC (1,105,000)
- Nickelodeon (1,048,000)
Elsewhere in cable news – CNBC posted +18 percent prime time viewer growth and +8 percent total day viewer growth versus the same week in 2016. HLN was +8 percent in prime time and +2 percent in total day versus last year, and Fox Business was +26 percent in prime time, and +30 percent in total day versus last year.