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Weekly Cable Ratings: Fox News Channel Bests ESPN for Top Primetime Spot

The Five
Fox News Channel's 'The Five' (Image credit: FNC)

Fox News Channel wrestled the weekly primetime ratings crown from ESPN last week as the two networks continue their dominance. 

Fox News averaged 2.4 million viewers for the week of Dec. 13-Dec. 19, regaining the top spot from ESPN, which finished second with 1.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Either Fox News or ESPN have topped the primetime ratings for the past eight weeks. 

Hallmark Channel was third with 1.4 million viewers, followed by NFL Network’s 1.4 million viewers and MSNBC’s 1.3 million watchers. The rest of the top 10 most-watched networks include Paramount Network (1 million viewers), HGTV (870,000), TBS (864,000), Freeform (862,000) and Food Network (794,000). 

Fox News continued to dominate the total day chart, winning for the 44th consecutive week, besting Hallmark Channel (827,000), ESPN (739,000), MSNBC (727,000), and CNN (517,000), 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.