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ESPN Dominates October Cable Primetime Ratings

ESPN was the most watched cable network in primetime for the month of October, the sports network’s second straight monthly cable ratings win, according to Nielsen.

The sports network rode its Monday Night Football and college football coverage to average 2.8 million viewers during the period of Sept. 25 to Oct. 29, said Nielsen.

The cable news networks remained hot from a ratings perspective, with Fox News Channel finishing second in primetime for the month with 2.2 million viewers and MSNBC coming in fifth among all cable networks with 1.6 million.

TBS and FS1’s coverage of Major League Baseball playoff games helped the networks finish third and fourth, respectively, according to Nielsen.

USA (1.3 million viewers), HGTV (1.2 million), Hallmark (1.1 million), and TNT and Discovery (1.1 million each) rounded out the top 10 most watched cable networks of the month.

Fox News topped all cable networks on a total-day basis, besting Nickelodeon, MSNBC, CNN and ESPN.

AMC’s zombie-themed series The Walking Dead was the most watched show during October, with live sports programming -- led by four ESPN’s Monday Night Football telecasts -- occupying eight of the top 10 slots during the month, according to Nielsen.

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.