Skip to main content

Weekly Cable Ratings: ESPN Tackles Primetime Top Spot

Rhamondre Stevenson #38 of the New England Patriots carries the ball as Jordan Poyer #21 of the Buffalo Bills tackles in the third quarter of the game at Highmark Stadium on December 6, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York.
Rhamondre Stevenson #38 of the New England Patriots carries the ball as Jordan Poyer #21 of the Buffalo Bills tackles in the third quarter of the game at Highmark Stadium on December 6, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. (Image credit: Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

ESPN once again alternated with Fox News to take the top spot on the primetime ratings chart, while the cable news network blew away the competition in total day ratings.

ESPN, which drew more than 14 million viewers for its December 6 New England Patriots-Buffalo Bills Monday Night Football game telecast, averaged 2.6 million viewers to finish first in primetime for the week of December 6 to December 12, according to Nielsen. ESPN bested last week's most watched network, Fox News, which finished second with 2.3 million viewers. Hallmark Channel finished third with 1.5 million viewers, followed by MSNBC with 1.1 million watchers.

HGTV was fifth with 890,000, followed by Freeform with 867,000 viewers. Paramount Network (858,000 viewers), TBS (792,000), TLC (780,000) and Food Network (759,000) rounded out the top 10 most watched networks in primetime. 

Fox News was tops on the total day charts for the 43rd consecutive week with 1.4 million viewers, followed by Hallmark Channel (883,000 viewers), ESPN (795,000), MSNBC (684,000) and HGTV (510,000), according to 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.