Weekly Cable Ratings: NFL, NBA Power ESPN to Christmas Week Primetime Win

Los Angeles Rams vs. Green Bay Packers on December 19, 2022
The December 19 ‘Monday Night Football’ game between the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers helped ESPN win the Christmas week primetime ratings race. (Image credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

ESPN ended the Christmas week on a high note with a primetime ratings win.

The network rode a combination of its college football bowl game coverage, its December 19 Monday Night Football telecast and its Christmas Day NBA telecasts to average 2.4 million primetime viewers for the week of December 19 to December 25 to lead all cable networks for a second straight week, according to Nielsen.

NFL Network, on the strength of its Las Vegas Raiders-Pittsburgh Steelers NFL telecast on Christmas Eve, finished second with 1.6 million viewers.

Fox News Channel finished third for the week with 1.5 million viewers, followed by MSNBC’s 1.2 million viewers and Hallmark Channel’s 1.1 million watchers.

Rounding out the top 10 most-watched networks for the week were Freeform (876,000 viewers), TBS Network (805,000), HGTV (742,000) USA Network (740,000) and AMC (735,000).

Fox News made it 51 straight weekly wins on the total day chart, averaging 1.1 million viewers for the period. ESPN finished second with 866,000 viewers, followed by MSNBC (830,000), Hallmark Channel (723,000) and CNN (514,000), Nielsen said. ■ 

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.