Fox News, MSNBC, CNN Were All Among the Top 10 Basic Cable Networks Last Week

By A.J. Katz Comment

Fox News was the most-watched cable television network for the week of Sept. 17, and it has now held the title of No. 1 across the 24-hour day for 37 consecutive weeks. FNC is looking to regain its stranglehold on the top spot in the coveted prime time daypart, and it managed to do so this past week after coming up short to ESPN the prior week.

According Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, FNC garnered 1.5 million viewers and 275,000 in the 25-54 demo across the 24-hour total day.  In prime time, FNC averaged 2.8 million in total viewers and 488,000 in the 25-54 demo.

Versus the comparable week in 2017, FNC was +12 percent in total day viewers, and +31 percent in total prime time viewers.

FNC claimed 12 of the top 25 cable telecasts overall in total viewers, including presentations of Hannity, The Ingraham Angle and Tucker Carlson Tonight. Additionally, Hannity was the No. 1 cable news program in total viewers and the A25-54 demo for the week, with his telecasts taking the top 4 consecutive spots. Perhaps most important to the network (and probably the host himself). Hannity moved back ahead of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show in all relevant categories. TRMS briefly knocked Hannity off his perch last week as the No. 1 show on cable news. But no longer.

Speaking of Maddow, MSNBC averaged 1.06 million total day viewers this past week, which is +20 percent year-over-year, and good enough for No. 2 across cable. NBCU’s politics-focused cable news net ranked No. 3 in prime time with nearly 2 million viewers, posting +16 percent prime time viewer growth vs. last year in the process.

CNN also scored a spot in the basic cable top 10. The network was -11 percent in total day viewers, but posted +2.5 percent growth in prime time vs. last year.

Basic Cable Top 10 – Prime Time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,787,000)
  2. ESPN (2,603,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,938,000)
  4. HGTV (1,323,000)
  5. NFL Network (1,306,000)
  6. USA (1,273,000)
  7. Hallmark Channel (1,171,000)
  8. Investigation Discovery (997,000)
  9. History (982,000)
  10. CNN (947,000)

Basic Cable Top 10 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,505,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,060,000)
  3. ESPN (937,000)
  4. Nickelodeon (783,000)
  5. HGTV (726,000)
  6. Investigation Discovery (686,000)
  7. CNN (660,000)
  8. Hallmark Channel (624,000)
  9. USA (578,000)
  10. History (534,000)

Basic cable ranker: Week of Sept. 17 (Total Viewers)

Business news – Week of Sept. 17 (Nielsen live-plus-same-day)

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

  • FBN: 200,000 total viewers / 21,000 A25-54
  • CNBC: 166,000 total viewers / 30,000 A25-54

Market Hours (9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET)

  • FBN: 202,000 total viewers / 22,000 A25-54
  • CNBC: 170,000 total viewers / 31,000 A25-54

Total Day (6 a.m. – 6 a.m. ET)

  • FBN: 150,000 total viewers / 19,000 A25-54
  • CNBC: 141,000 total viewers / 40,000 A25-54

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