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Weekly Cable Ratings: ESPN Scores Third Straight Primetime Ratings Win

Georgia-Florida 2022 College Football Playoffs National Championship game
Some 22.2 million viewers watched ESPN's Georgia-Florida college football title game telecast. (Image credit: Joshua R. Gateley/ESPN Images)

ESPN, boosted by its College Football Playoff National Championship game telecast, retained the top spot on the primetime ratings charts for the third straight week, according to Nielsen.

ESPN averaged 3.8 million viewers for the week of January 10 to January 16, easily beating Fox News Channel, which averaged 2.2 million viewers to finish in second place. The sports network was bolstered by the 22.2 million viewers who tuned into its January 10 Alabama-Georgia CFP title game, won by Georgia 38-18.

MSNBC finished third for the week with 1.2 million viewers, followed by HGTV’s 1 million viewers and Hallmark Channel’s 972,000 watchers. TLC (860,000 viewers), INSP (793,000), History (788,000), Discovery Channel (731,000) and Food Network (713,000) rounded out the top 10 most watched networks for the week. 

Fox News was the most watched network on a 24-hour basis for the second week in a row, averaging 1.4 million viewers. ESPN was next with 1.1 million viewers, followed by MSNBC (690,000 viewers), HGTV (614,000) and Hallmark Channel (553,000), said 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.