ESPN Rolls to Fourth Straight Weekly Primetime Cable Ratings Win

ESPN, led by its Monday Night Football franchise, dominated cable’s weekly primetime ratings charts for a fourth consecutive week, according to Nielsen.

ESPN averaged 3.7 million viewers during the week of Oct. 2 to Oct. 8 to finish first among all cable networks and ahead of second place Fox News Channel, which averaged 2.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen. TBS (2.3 million viewers) and FS1 (1.6 million viewers) rode strong performances from their respective Major League Baseball playoffs coverage to finish third and fourth for the week respectively.

MSNBC (1.4 million homes); CNN, USA and HGTV (all tied with 1.1 million viewers); Disney Channel (925,000) and Hallmark Channel (924,000) rounded out the top 10 most watched cable networks in primetime for the week.

Fox News bested ESPN, Nickelodeon, MSNBC and CNN on a total-day basis to win in the category for a fourth straight week.

ESPN was the top choice among adults 18-49 both in primetime and on a total-day basis, according to Nielsen. 

Most Watched Cable Shows Oct. 2-8, 2017

DateShowNetworkTotal Viewers

10/2   Monday Night Football – Wash/KC                                    ESPN              12.0 million

10/3   MLB Wild Card Game – Minn/NY Yankees                          ESPN               6.8 million

10/8   MLB Divisional Series – Cleve/NY Yankees                         FS1                 5.2 million

10/7   College Football – Alabama-Texas A&M                            ESPN                4.7 million

10/4   MLB Wild Card Game – Colo./Ariz.                                   TBS                  4.4 million

10/5   Thursday Night Football – N.E./T.B.                                 NFL Network     3.9 million

10/3   Hannity                                                                         Fox News         3.8 million

10/2   Special Report W/ Bret Baier                                           Fox News         3.8 million

10/2   Tucker Carlson Tonight                                                   Fox News         3.8 million

10/5   MLB Divisional Series – Cleve/NY Yankees                        FS1                 3.7 million

10/2   Hannity                                                                        Fox News          3.7 million

Source: 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.