ESPN Tackles Weekly Ratings Crown

ESPN’s coverage of the Little League World Series and NFL pre-season football last week helped propel the network to a first place primetime ratings finish among cable networks  according to Nielsen.

The sports network averaged 2.6 million viewers during the week of Aug. 18-24, besting second place finisher Fox News Network, which drew 1.9 million viewers. USA Network took third place with 1.8 million watchers, followed by Disney Channel  (1.8 million viewers) and TNT (1.75 million).

TBS (1.63 million), History (1.57 million); MTV (1.5 million); HGTV (1.43 million) and Discovery Channel (1.13 million) rounded out the top 10.

Disney Channel was the top choice among viewers on a 24-hour basis, averaging 1.37 million viewers for the week. Nickelodeon finished a close second with 1.3 million viewers, followed by Fox News (1.15 million); Adult Swim (1.15 million) and Cartoon Network (1.06 million).

MTV’s Video Music Awards was the most watched show on cable last week, helping the network finish first among adult 18-49 and adult 18-34 viewers. ESPN was tops among adult 18-54 year olds, according to Nielsen.

Most Watched Cable Shows on Cable During the Week Of Aug. 18-24

Date      Show                                                     Network              Total Viewers

8/24       2014 Video Music Awards            MTV                                8.2 million

8/18       NFL Pre-Season Football             ESPN                              6.9 million

8/19       Rizzoli & Isles                             TNT                                  5.2 million

8/20       Little League World Series            ESPN                             4.9 million

8/24       The Last Ship                               TNT                                4.3 million

8/18       WWE Monday Night Raw              USA                               4.3 million

8/18       WWE Monday Night Raw              USA                               4.2 million

8/24       True Blood                                    HBO                               4.0 million

8/18       WWE Monday Night Raw              USA                                3.9 million

8/18       Love & Hip Hop Atlanta                 VH1                               3.9 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.