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ESPN Rolls to Weekly Ratings Win

ESPN once again topped the weekly ratings list, led by its powerhouse Monday Night Football franchise.

The sports network’s 2.8 million viewers – bolstered by its MNF Dallas-Washington telecast that drew a cable best 14.1 million viewers -- bested ABC Family’s holiday programming-infused 2.2 million viewer average and Fox News’ 2.0 million viewers to top all cable networks during the week of Dec. 7 to Dec. 13, according to Nielsen.

Discovery Channel and Hallmark Channel finished fourth for the week tied with 1.9 million viewers, while USA Network (1.7 million), NFL Network (1.2 million); TBS (1.4 million) HGTV (1.3 million) and Disney Channel rounded out the top 10 most watched networks for the week.

Fox News was the most watched cable network on a 24-hour basis during the week, while among the 19-49 demo ESPN and Adult Swim were the top choice in primetime and on a total day basis respectively.

Most Watched Cable Shows During The Week Of Dec. 7 to Dec. 13

DateShowNetworkTotal Viewers

12/7   Monday Night Football – Dallas-Wash.        ESPN                        14.1 million

12/10 Thurs. Night Football – Minn-Ariz.              NFL Network                 8.7 million

12/7   SportsCenter                                               ESPN                           4.2 million

12/9   Alaskan Bush People                                  Discovery                     3.7 million

12/11 Gold Rush                                                   Discovery                     3.7 million

12/9   The O’Reilly Factor                                     Fox News                     3.7 million

12/12 On The 12th Day Of Christmas (movie)      Hallmark                       3.5 million

12/7   The O’Reilly Factor                                     Fox News                     3.4 million

12/13 Family For Christmas (movie)                     Hallmark                      3.3 million

12/8   The O’Reilly Factor                                     Fox News                     3.2 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.