ESPN Serves Up Weekly Cable Primetime Ratings Win

ESPN rode its coverage of the U.S. Open to a first place finish among all cable networks in primetime viewership last week, according to Nielsen.

ESPN averaged 2.5 million total viewers in primetime during the week of Sept. 3 to Sept. 9 to end Fox News’ 14-week run at the top of the chart, according to Nielsen. ESPN’s two-week U.S. Open coverage was viewed by more than 1 million viewers, up 9% from last year’s 949,000.

The network’s coverage of the Sept. 8 Naomi Osaka-Serena Williams women’s final drew 3.1 million viewers, the third all-time most watched U.S. Open match on ESPN, according to the network.

Related: Naomi Osaka Holds Her Own Versus NFL Kickoff, Serena This Weekend

Fox News finished second for the week with 2.3 million viewers, followed by MSNBC’s 2.0 million viewers, and USA and HGTV, which tied for fourth with 1.3 million watchers, according to network officials.

Fox News was the most watched network on a 24-hour basis for the 35th consecutive week, according to Nielsen. MSNBC (1.1 million viewers) ESPN (1 million viewers), Nickelodeon (833,000) and CNN (679,000) rounded out the top five in the category. 

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.