Weekly Cable Ratings: ESPN Nets Second Straight Primetime Ratings Win

Frances Tiafoe in 2022 U.S. Open semifinals
ESPN was powered in primetime by U.S. Open coverage, including American Frances Tiafoe's Sept. 9 semifinal match against eventual winner Carlos Alcaraz. (Image credit: Allen Kee/ESPN Images)

ESPN's college football and U.S. Open tennis tournament coverage helped propel the sports network to its second straight weekly primetime cable ratings win during the first full week of September.

ESPN averaged 2.6 million viewers for the week of September 5 to September 11 to top all cable networks, according to Nielsen. Fox News finished second for the week with 2 million viewers, followed by MSNBC with 1 million viewers and HGTV with 877,000 viewers.

Hallmark Channel was the fifth most-watched network for the week with 800,000 viewers, followed by ESPN2 (773,000 viewers), INSP (753,000), TLC (747,000), CNN (696,000) and USA Network (668,000).

Fox News extended its total day winning streak to 36 weeks, averaging 1.3 million viewers for the period. ESPN (1 million viewers), MSNBC (721,000), CNN (605,000) and HGTV (491,000), finished among the top five most watched cable networks in the period, according to 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.