Fox News Remains the Most-Watched Network on Basic Cable

By A.J. Katz Comment

Fox News finished the week of October 9th as the No. 1 basic cable network in total day. This is the 5th straight weekly win for FNC. TBS, which boasts a MLB playoffs-heavy schedule, finished at the top of the basic cable heap in prime time.

Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime time (Total Viewers)

  1. TBS (3,315,000)
  2. FS 1 (2,923,000)
  3. ESPN (2,722,000)
  4. Fox News (2,170,000)
  5. MSNBC (1,565,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,401,000)
  2. TBS (1,093,000)
  3. ESPN (1,042,000)
  4. Nickelodeon (1,007,000)
  5. MSNBC (877,000)

Fox News continues to be the most-watched non-cable sports network, and Sean Hannity had the No. 1 cable news program of the week, both in total viewers and among adults 25-54.

Additionally, the Wednesday broadcast of Hannity was the most-watched non-cable sports telecast of the week (3.6 millon viewers). The host interviewed Pres. Trump that night.

Despite posting a -13 percent year-over-year decline in total prime time viewers, and a -3.5 percent year-over-year decline in total viewers, Fox News remains the No. 1 cable news network in all relevant measurements, including the A25-54 demographic, which is the age range most valued by news advertisers.

MSNBC was -3 percent in total prime time viewers versus last year, and ranked No. 5 in the daypart. The network was -4 percent in total day viewers, and ranked No. 5.

CNN was -39 percent in total prime time viewers versus last year, and ranked No. 14 in the daypart. The network was -35 percent in total day viewers, and ranked No. 10.

The notorious Access Hollywood tape from 2005 was released this past week last year, and was discussed on cable news seemingly 24/7. Perhaps that’s a reason for the sharp ratings decline this past week compared to last year.

Elsewhere in cable news, HLN posted a -2 percent prime time audience decline from last year, and ranked No. 47 in the daypart. In total day, HLN was -3 percent from last year, and ranked No. 39.

CNBC had a nice week. The network posted +7 percent year-over-year prime time audience growth, and ranked No. 45 in the daypart.

Fox Business posted +2 percent year-over-year prime time audience growth, and ranked No. 76 in the daypart.

Fox Biz was the most-watched business news network in Business Day (9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.) for the 19th straight week, and Lou Dobbs had the most-watched business news show for the 60th straight week.

CNBC continues to beat FBN among adults 25-54 during Business Day, and maintains a solid lead in prime time.

On the sports side, FS1 was -20 percent in total prime time viewers from the same week last year. TBS, on the other hand, posted +57 percent total audience growth in the daypart. ESPN posted year-over-year prime time audience growth as well, +31 percent.

Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Oct. 9 (Total Viewers)

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