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Weekly Cable Ratings: ESPN, Hallmark Dominate Thanksgiving Week Viewership

Candace Cameron Bure and Robert Markus star in Hallmark Channel's 'If I Only Had Christmas'
Candace Cameron Bure and Robert Markus star in Hallmark Channel's 'If I Only Had Christmas' (Image credit: Hallmark Channel)

Cable viewers took a respite from the cable news networks during the Thanksgiving week, as ESPN and Hallmark Channel led the cable ratings charts.

ESPN, fueled by its lineup of holiday weekend college football games, was the most watched cable network during the week of Nov. 23 to Nov. 29, averaging 3 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Hallmark Channel rode its popular holiday-themed original movies to a second place finish with 2.5 million viewers. The network was led by its Nov. 29 film If I Only Had Christmas, which averaged nearly 4 million viewers, said Nielsen. 

Related: Cover Story: Holiday Cheer

The three cable news networks rounded out the top five most watched cable services for the week, led by Fox News’ average of 2 million viewers, MSNBC’s 1.6 million viewers and CNN’s 1.4 million watchers, reported Nielsen.

On a total day basis, Hallmark Channel took the crown, averaging 1.1 million viewers. CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and ESPN followed closely behind, according to Nielsen.