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ESPN, Fox News Share Weekly Ratings Win

ESPN and Fox News battled to a primetime ratings tie last week, according to Nielsen.

The 24-hour sports channel – which won cable’s primetime ratings race two weeks ago – averaged 2.6 million viewers to tie with Fox News for the top spot during the week of Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, according to Nielsen.

Hallmark Channel’s popular holiday-themed programming lineup helped the network finish third with 2.2 million viewers, followed by AMC with 1.5 million watchers.

Fifth place was a three-way tie between USA Network, Freeform and HGTV (all with 1.4 million viewers) followed by History and TBS, which both averaged 1.3 million viewers. Discovery Channel rounded out the top 10 with 1.2 million viewers.

Fox News was the most watched network on a 24-hour basis, averaging 1.6 million viewers, followed by Hallmark Channel, Nickelodeon, ESPN and Disney Channel.

ESPN was the top choice among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen.

 Most Watched Cable Shows For The Week of 11/28-12/4

Date    Show                                                          Network                     Total Viewers

11/28 Monday Night Football-GB/Phi                   ESPN                           13.0 million

12/4   The Walking Dead                                      AMC                            10.4 million

12/1   Thursday Night Football-Dal/Minn.            NFL Network                 4.4 million

12/1   Tucker Carlson Tonight                              Fox News                      4.3 million

11/30 The O’Reilly Factor                                    Fox News                      3.9 million

11/29 The O’Reilly Factor                                    Fox News                      3.9 million

11/28 The O’Reilly Factor                                    Fox News                      3.8 million

12/4   Looks Like Christmas                                Hallmark Channel         3.8 million

12/3   Dream of Christmas                                  Hallmark Channel          3.7 million

12/4   Talking Dead                                             AMC                               3.7 million

Source: 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.