Weekly Cable Ratings: ESPN Regains Top Spot in Primetime

Giants at Buccaneers on Monday Night Football, Nov. 22, 2021
Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers met the New York Giants in ESPN's Nov. 22 'Monday Night Football' game. (Image credit: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

ESPN retook first place in the weekly primetime cable ratings race during the last full week of November.

The sports network averaged 2.9 million viewers during the week of Nov. 22 to Nov. 28 to retake the crown from Fox News Channel, who finished first the prior week, according to Nielsen. 

Fox News, on the strength of a record-setting ratings week for Tucker Carlson Tonight, finished second with 2.1 million viewers, followed by Hallmark Channel with 2 million viewers. Paramount Network, riding the continued strong performance from its Yellowstone original series, finished fourth with 1.1 million viewers, followed by HGTV’s 885,000 watchers. 

TBS (872,000 viewers), MSNBC (850,000), TNT (830,000), TLC (785,000), and Food Network (762,000) rounded out the top 10 most watched shows for the week.

Fox News won the weekly cable total day race for the 41st consecutive week with 1.3 million viewers, followed by Hallmark Channel (1 million viewers), ESPN (977,000), MSNBC (583,000) and Paramount Network (552,000), 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.