Fox News Tops Weekly Ratings Chart

Fox News rode its record-setting coverage of the Republican Presidential Debate to an easy first place primetime ratings finish among all cable networks last week.

Fox News averaged 4.4 million viewers for the week of Aug. 3 to Aug. 9, easily besting Disney’s 1.7 million second-place finish, according to Nielsen. Fox News’ performance was paced by live coverage of the Aug. 6  Republican Presidential Debate, which drew 24 million viewers -- the biggest audience for a non-sports cable show in history, according to Nielsen.

In addition, Fox was the most-watched network among nearly all major audience demos, including adults 18-49. The network also garnered seven of the top 10 most watched shows for the week.

TNT and USA Network tied for third place with 1.5 million viewers each, followed by HGTV’s 1.4 million viewers.

History (1.3 million viewers) Discovery Channel (1.2 million); Adult Swim (1.1 million); FX (1.0 million) and Food Network (996,000) rounded out the top 10.

Fox News was also the dominant network on a 24-hour basis, averaging 1.6 million viewers, outdistancing Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network.

Most Watched Shows During The Week Of Aug. 3 to Aug. 9

DateProgramNetworkTotal Viewers

8/6     Republican Presidential Debate                  Fox News                    23.9 million

8/6     The Kelly File                                                 Fox News                    10.9 million

8/6     The O’Reilly Factor                                        Fox News                       6.5 million

8/6     Republican Presidential Debate (5.p.m.)   Fox News                       6.0 million

8/6     Special Report With Brett Baier                  Fox News                       4.5 million

8/3     Major Crimes                                                 TNT                                4.5 million

8/4     Rizzoli & Isles                                                 TNT                                4.2 million

8/6     Hannity                                                          Fox News                       4.1 million

8/6     On The Record W/Greta                              Fox News                       3.9 million

8/9     NASCAR Sprint Cup Race                             NBCSN                           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.