Fox News, ESPN Rule October Cable Ratings

Fox News and ESPN were the big winners in the cable ratings race during the month of October, according to Nielsen.

ESPN, on the strength of its Monday Night Football telecasts, averaged 2.8 million viewers for the period of Sept. 30 to Oct. 27 to top all cable networks in primetime, according to Nielsen. Fox News was second with 2.6 million viewers, followed by MSNBC with 1.9 million and TBS with 1.7 million watchers.

Major League Baseball playoffs-infused Fox Sports 1 finished fifth with 1.4 million viewers, followed by CNN (1.2 million viewers), TLC (1.1 million), HGTV (999,000), Hallmark Channel (899,000) and A&E Network (842,000), said Nielsen.

Fox News was the most watched cable network on a total day basis for the 40th consecutive month with 1.4 million viewers, followed by MSNBC with 1.1 million viewers. ESPN, CNN and TBS Network rounded out the top five list of most watched cable networks in October on a 24-hour basis.

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.