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ESPN, Fox News Top Weekly Cable Ratings

ESPN topped a cable ratings week dominated by big audience numbers for another Republican presidential debate and coverage of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris.

ESPN averaged 2.8 million viewers to viewers to top the cable primetime ratings chart for the week of Nov. 9 to Nov. 15, and Fox News Channel finished second for the week with 2.3 million, according to Nielsen.

Fox News' performance was bolstered by its coverage of the Nov. 13 Paris terrorist attacks, which generated the network’s biggest non-debate, primetime audience of the year, averaging 4.3 million viewers. 

Hallmark Channel’s annual Countdown to Christmas lineup of original holiday movies helped pushed the network to a third place finish, averaging 1.7 million viewers, while Fox Business Network’s Nov. 10 Republican presidential debate coverage – which was the most watched show of the week with 13.4 million viewers -- pushed the network into fourth place with 1.6 million watchers.

All four Republican presidential debates – including previous telecasts from Fox News, CNN and CNBC – have generated more than 13 million viewers, according to Nielsen. 

AMC -- which finished in a fifth place tie with Disney Channel, USA Network and Discovery Channel with an average of 1.4 million viewers -- was paced last week by a strong Sunday debut for its martial arts drama Into the Badlands -- which drew 6.3 million viewers --and The Walking Dead, which was the second-most watched show of the week with 12.8 million viewers.

TBS and History (tied with 1.3 million viewers) rounded out the top 10 most watched networks in primetime for the week.

Fox News Channel was the most watched network on a total-day basis for the week, besting Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, Adult Swim and ESPN, said Nielsen.

Most Watched Shows For The Week Of Nov. 9 to Nov. 15

DateShowNetworkTotal Viewers

11/10 Republican Presidential Debate      Fox Business              13.4 million

11/15 The Walking Dead                            AMC                            12.8 million

11/9   Monday Night Football                     ESPN                           11.4 million

11/12 Thursday Night Football                  NFL Network                7.5 million

11/15 Into The Badlands                            AMC                              6.3 million

11/10 Cavuto Coast To Coast                      Fox Business                5.2 million

11/13 Fox News Deck (8 pm to 9 pm)       Fox News                      4.8 million

11/13 Fox News Deck (7 pm to 8 pm)       Fox News                      4.8 million

11/13 The Kelly File                                     Fox News                      4.7 million

11/10 The GOP Debate (Preliminary)       Fox Business                4.7 million

Source: Nielsen