Weekly Cable Ratings: ESPN Notches Primetime Ratings Three-Peat

Monday Night Football 2022 -- Seattle Seahawks-Denver Broncos
(Image credit: Getty Images)

ESPN’s season debut of Monday Night Football last week helped the sports network secure its third straight primetime ratings win.

The sports network averaged 2.3 million viewers in primetime during the week of September 12 to September 18, besting Fox News, which averaged 2.2 million watchters, according to Nielsen. ESPN’s ratings were bolstered by the Sept. 12 Seattle Seahawks-Denver Broncos NFL telecast, which averaged 17.3 million viewers combined across ESPN, ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Plus and ESPN2

MSNBC finished third with 1.2 million viewers, followed by HGTV with 893,000 viewers and USA Network with 823,000 watchers.

The rest of the top 10 most watched networks for the week include TLC (762,000 viewers), Hallmark Channel (722,000), CNN (705,000), INSP (660,000) and Food Network (652,000), according to Nielsen.

ESPN could not unseat Fox News on the total day charts, as the news network averaged 1.4 million viewers to take its 37th consecutive crown in the category. ESPN finished second with 841,000 viewers, followed by MSNBC (791,000), CNN (597,000) and HGTV (475,000), said 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.