ESPN, Hallmark Roll to Weekly Primetime Cable Ratings Win

With the holiday TV season in full swing, ESPN and Hallmark Channel battled to a first place tie in last week’s primetime cable ratings race, according to Nielsen.

Hallmark Channel's 'A Shoe Addict’s Christmas'

Hallmark Channel's 'A Shoe Addict’s Christmas'

ESPN, bolstered by its coverage of the final weeks of both college football and NFL Monday Night Football regular season schedules, and Hallmark – boosted by its annual original holiday movie lineup --tied for the top spot among cable networks for the period of Nov. 26 to Dec. 2 with 2.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Fox News was close behind in third place with 2 million viewers, followed by MSNBC with 1.9 million viewers, and USA Network and HGTV, which tied with 1.1 million viewers.

Hallmark Movies and Mysteries (1 million), History, AMC, Food Network, CNN, Investigation Discovery and TBS Network all tied with 1 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Fox News Channel was tops on a 24-hour basis, followed by Hallmark Channel, MSNBC, Nickelodeon, and ESPN, said 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.