ESPN Scores Weekly Ratings Win

ESPN rode its College Football Playoffs championship game coverage back to the top primetime ratings spot among cable networks last week, according to Nielsen.

ESPN averaged 4.1 million viewers to top all cable networks for the week of Jan. 11 to Jan. 17, besting last week's winner Fox News’ 2.0 million viewers, and HGTV and Disney’s 1.6 million watchers each, said Nielsen. TBS, TNT and Discovery all tied for fifth with 1.4 million viewers, while USA and Fox Business Network (tied with 1.3 million) and History (1.2 million) rounded out the top 10.

ESPN also swept all other major weekly ratings categories, including total day and adults 18-49. Nickelodeon was the top choice among kids 2 to 11 while Disney was tops among the 6 to 11 age group.

Most Watched Cable Shows During the Week of Jan. 11-17

Date      Show                                                                                                     Network              Total Viewers

1/11       CFP Title game Alabama/Clemson (8:27-11:45 pm)                                    ESPN                     25.6 million

1/11       CFP Title game Alabama/Clemson (11:45-12:27 am)                                  ESPN                     23.6 million

1/14       Republican Presidential Debate                                                                FBN                        11.0 million

1/11       CFP Post Game Show                                                                            ESPN                       9.0 million

1/11       CFP Pre-Game Show                                                                              ESPN                       8.0 million

1/15       Gold Rush                                                                                              Discovery                  4.0 million

1/14       Cavuto Coast To Coast                                                                            FBN                          3.9 million

1/12       State Of The Union Speech Analysis                                                        Fox News                  3.8 million

1/12       Fixer Upper                                                                                            HGTV                        3.8 million

1/11       SportsCenter                                                                                          ESPN                        3.6 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.