Fox News Channel Once Again Tops Weekly Cable Ratings Race

Fox News Channel continued to wear cable’s primetime ratings crown last week, according to Nielsen.

Fox News averaged 2.3 million viewers top all cable networks for the week of April 10 to April 16, according to Nielsen. Fox News topped the primetime ratings charts for the 12th time in the last 13 weeks even as Bill O'Reilly, host of the network's highest rated series The O’Reilly Factor, was on vacation for the majority of the week. Even without a full week of O’Reilly – who recently has been mired in controversy regarding several sexual harassment complaints – the series finshed the week with three of cable's top 10 most watched shows, according to Nielsen.

MSNBC finished second with 1.5 million viewers, followed by HGTV and TNT, both of which averaged 1.4 million viewers for the week. ESPN was fifth with 1.3 million viewers, followed by USA Network and Discovery Channel with 1.2 million viewers each, and History, TBS and Investigation Discovery -- all tied with 1.1 million watchers, according to Nielsen.

Fox News finished as the most watched network on a 24 hour basis for the 15th straight week, followed by Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, HGTV and MSNBC.

TNT was the top choice for adult 18-49 viewers in primetime for the week, while Adult Swim topped all networks on a 24-hour basis within the demo, said Nielsen.

Most Watched Shows On Cable During the Week of April 10 to April 16

DateShowNetworkTotal Viewers

4/16       NBA Playoffs—OKC/Houston                          TNT                                               5.1 million

4/16       NBA Playoffs—Chicago/Boston                        TNT                                              5.1 million

4/10       The O’Reilly Factor                                        Fox News                                       3.7 million

4/11       The O’Reilly Factor                                        Fox News                                       3.6 million

4/10       WWE Entertainment                                      USA                                             3.6 million

4/10       WWE Entertainment                                      USA                                             3.4 million

4/10       WWE Entertainment                                      USA                                             3.2 million

4/15       NBA Playoffs—Memphis/San Antonio               ESPN                                            3.1 million

4/13       The O’Reilly Factor                                         Fox News                                      3.1 million

4/11       WWE SmackDown                                          USA                                            3.1 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.