MSNBC Wins Weeknights Across the Board; Fox News is Most-Watched For Full Calendar Week

By A.J. Katz 

It was an extraordinary week for MSNBC, as the network won the weekday cable news ratings race in key dayparts and in key metrics for the first time in its 21-year history.

Rachel Maddow had the No. 1 cable news show of the week, averaging 711,000 demo viewers and more than 2.9 million total viewers.

But Fox News still managed to win the full calendar week (Monday July 17 – Sunday July 23), both in total day viewers (29th consecutive week) and in total prime time viewers (9th consecutive week), per Nielsen data.

CNN had a strong ratings week in its own right, finishing No. 10 across all of cable in total prime time viewers and No. 8 in total day viewers.

Here’s a look at the five most-watched basic cable networks for the full calendar week:

Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime Time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,930,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,842,000)
  3. HGTV (1,513,000)
  4. USA (1,375,000)
  5. Discovery (1,368,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,223,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (1,215,000)
  3. MSNBC (955,000)
  4. HGTV (842,000)
  5. Adult Swim (765,000)

On the business news side, CNBC beat Fox Business in all relevant measurements, both in prime time and across total day (6a – 6a).

For the 7th consecutive week, Fox Business defeated CNBC in total Business Day viewers (M-F, 9:30 – 5 p.m.). CNBC once again won Business Day demo viewers.

Cable Ranker: Week of July 17 (Total Viewers)