Skip to main content

History Wins Cable's First Summer Weekly Ratings Shootout

History rode the phenomenal success of its mini-series Hatfields & McCoys to the summer season's first weekly cable ratings win.

History averaged 6.0 million viewers to top all basic cable network for the week of May 28 to June 3, according to a Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen data. History's three-part Hatfields & McCoys finished as the top three most watched shows for the week as well as securing the top three spots among all non-sports shows for ad-supported basic cable networks.

ESPN and TNT's coverage of the NBA Conference playoff finals placed them second and third for the week respectively. ESPN's airing of the Miami Heat-Boston Celtics Eastern Conference finals helped the network average 4.6 million viewers for the week, while TNT's Oklahoma City Thunder-San Antonio Spurs Western Conference finals coverage bolstered the network's 3.0 million weekly watchers.

Last year's summer ratings champion USA Network finished fourth with 2.3 million subscribers, while Disney Channel finished fifth with 2 million viewers. TBS (1.59 million viewers), Fox News (1.56 million), A&E (1.54 million), Food Network (1.21 million) and FX (1.2 million) rounded out the top 10 most watched networks for the week.

Most Watched Shows For The Week

DateShow NetworkTotal Viewers

5/30      Hatfields & McCoys PART 3                 History                    14 million
5/28       Hatfields & McCoys PART 1                  History                     13.4 million
5/29       Hatfields & McCoys PART 2                 History                    12.7 million
6/3          NBA Playoffs: Heat/Celtics                    ESPN                      11.1 million
5/28        NBA Playoffs: Celtics/Heat                    ESPN                        8.9 million
5/30       NBA Playoffs: Celtics/Heat                    ESPN                        8.8 million
6/1         NBA Playoffs: Heat/Celtics                     ESPN                       7.5 million
5/29       NBA Playoffs: Thunder/Spurs               TNT                          7.2 million
5/31       NBA Playoffs: Spurs/Thunder                TNT                          7.1 million
5/28       Pawn Stars                                                History                     6.6 million
Source: 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.