ESPN Tops Cable’s Primetime Ratings Chart for January

ESPN, on the strength of its college football playoff coverage, was the most watched cable network in primetime for the month of January, according to Nielsen.

ESPN’s Jan. 8 Georgia-Alabama College Football Playoff  National Championship game telecast drew 27 million viewers, the most watched cable show thus far in 2018.

ESPN averaged 2.9 million viewers during the week of Jan. 1 to Jan. 28 to beat out Fox News Channel’s 2.4 million viewers, said Nielsen. MSNBC was third with 1.8 million viewers, followed by HGTV’s 1.5 million viewers and USA Network’s 1.3 million watchers.

Fox News was tops among all cable networks on a 24-hour basis with 1.4 million viewers, followed by ESPN (1.1 million), MSNBC (1 million), Nickelodeon (988,000), Investigation Discovery (871,000) and HGTV (863,000).

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.