Discovery Takes Bite Out of July Ratings

The strength of “Shark Week” helped Discovery Channel top all cable-network competitors in the primetime ratings for July.

Discovery drew 1.86 million viewers to edge out TNT’s 1.80 million for the top spot among total viewers in primetime during the period of June 29 to July 26, according to Nielsen. The network was led by its annual Shark Week programming stunt, which generated 2.46 million viewers, slightly above the 2.4 million average viewer mark for last year’s edition, according to a Ratings Intelligence analysis of Nielsen data.

USA Network finished third with 1.78 million viewers, followed by Fox News Channel at 1.64 million viewers and Disney Channel at 1.6 million watchers, per Nielsen.

Discovery was also tops among adults 18 to 49 in primetime, followed by USA Network and Cartoon Network.

On a 24-hour basis, Disney Channel was tops with an average of 1.35 million viewers during the month, followed by Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Adult Swim and Fox News.

On the cable-news front, Fox News easily bested CNN, its closest competitor, among total viewers and adults 18 to 49, according to Nielsen.

TNT series Major Crimes, Rizzoli & Isles and The Last Ship dominated the top 10 list of most watched shows for July, but ESPN’s live coverage of Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby drew more viewers than any show on cable during the month, according to Nielsen.

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.