Weekly Cable Ratings: Fox News Extends Winning Streak

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers controls the ball as Draymond Green #23 and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors defend during the first half of an NBA Tournament Play-In game at Staples Center on May 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
(Image credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Last week was another dominating one for Fox News on the ratings charts as the network topped all cable networks in primetime and total day for the third straight week in May. 

Fox News averaged 2.1 million viewers in primetime for the week of May 17 to May 23, easily beating second place MSNBC’s 1.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen. It's Fox News' eighth-straight win in the category. 

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ESPN and TNT tied for third place with 1.3 million viewers as both networks benefited from their respective NBA Playoffs coverage. Last week the NBA for the first time featured a "play-in" tournament to determine the final two playoff slots in both the Eastern and Western Conferences. ESPN's May 19 Los Angeles Lakers-Golden State Warriors play-in game finished as the most watched show on cable last week with 5.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen. 

HGTV finished fifth with 1.1 million viewers, followed by TBS (848,000 viewers), CNN and USA Network (tied with 829,000 viewers), Discovery Channel (795,000), and History (788,000).

On a 24-hour basis, Fox News led all cable networks for the 14th consecutive week with an average of 1.1 million viewers, followed by MSNBC (842,000), ESPN (764,000), HGTV (604,000), and CNN (569,000), 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.