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TBS Pitches Weekly Ratings Shutout

TBS, led by its Major League Baseball post-season coverage, hit a ratings home run last week, according to Nielsen.

The network was the most watched cable service in primetime during the week of Oct. 12 through Oct. 18, averaging 4.6 million viewers – much of that coming on the strength of its MLB playoffs coverage. TBS is currently on a record ratings pace for for its post-season baseball coverage, averaging 5.9 million viewers.

ESPN was second with 3.2 million viewers, followed by CNN, which averaged 2.2 million watchers for the week -- due in large part to its Oct. 13 coverage of the Democratic Presidential debate, which drew more than 15 million viewers.

Disney Channel finished fourth with 1.6 million viewers, followed by a fifth place tie between Fox News and USA Network, each averaging 1.5 million viewers.

AMC and Discovery Channel (tied with 1.3 million viewers); HGTV (1.2 million) and History and FX (tied with 1.1 million) rounded out the top 10 most watched networks for the week.

TBS was also the top cable network on a 24-hour basis, as well as among key demos including advertiser-coveted adults 18-49, said Nielsen.

Most Watched Shows For Week Of Oct. 12 to Oct. 18

DateTelecastNetworkTotal Viewers

10/13           Nevada Democratic Presidential Debate                     CNN                15.7 million

10/13           Democratic Presidential Debate Pre-Show                  CNN                12.6 million

10/13           Democratic Presidential Debate Post-Show                CNN                12.6 million

10/18           The Walking Dead                                                        AMC                12.1 million

10/12           MNF – Pittsburgh-San Diego                                       ESPN               12.1 million

10/17           MLB NLCS – Chicago Cubs-N.Y. Mets (Gm. 1)          TBS                   7.8 million     

10/17           College Football –Michigan St.-Michigan                    ESPN                 7.3 million

10/15           MLB NLDS – L.A. Dodgers – New York Mets             TBS                   7.3 million

10/17           College Football – Florida-LSU                                   TBS                   6.7 million

10/18           MLB NLCS – Chicago Cubs-N.Y. Mets (Gm. 2)          TBS                   6.5 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.