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Fox News Tops Weekly Primetime Cable Ratings Charts

Fox News was the most watched cable network last week despite stiff competition from networks offering sports and holiday programming.

Fox News averaged 2.6 million viewers to top all cable networks during the week of Dec. 4 to Dec. 10, according to Nielsen. The news network beat out holiday programming-focused network Hallmark Channel, which drew 2.5 million viewers, and 24-hour sports network ESPN, which averaged 2.4 million watchers to finish in third place.

MSNBC (1.9 million viewers) and Freeform (1.4 million viewers) rounded out the top five.

Fox News unseated Hallmark to finish in first place on a 24-hour basis for the week, with MSNBC, Nickelodeon and ESPN followed closely behind, reported Nielsen.

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.