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College Football Championship, Impeachment Proceedings Propel ESPN, Cable News Networks Ratings

ESPN’s coverage of the LSU-Clemson college football championship game helped the network top the primetime cable weekly ratings charts last week, while the continuing Impeachment proceedings were ratings gold for Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

ESPN's LSU-Clemson CFP Championship game telecast helped the network top cable's weekly primetime ratings chart

ESPN's LSU-Clemson CFP Championship game telecast helped the network top cable's weekly primetime ratings chart

ESPN averaged 4.3 million viewers in primetime during the week of Jan. 13-19 to top all cable networks, according to Nielsen. The sports network was paced by its coverage of the Jan. 13 College Football Playoff National Championship game -- won by LSU over last year’s champs Clemson -- which drew more than 25 million viewers.

Fox News (2.8 million viewers), MSNBC (1.9 million) and CNN (1.5 million) occupied the next three spots on the primetime chart, buoyed by their respective coverage of the ongoing Impeachment proceedings.

TLC finished fifth for the week with 1.1 million viewers, followed by HGTV, A&E and Hallmark Channel (all tied with 1 million viewers), History (955,000) and Discovery Channel (884,000).

On the total day ratings front, Fox News dominated the pack with 1.6 million viewers, followed by ESPN, MSNBC, CNN and HGTV, according to Nielsen. 

R. Thomas Umstead
R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.