Weekly Cable Ratings: Fox News Takes its Turn As Top-Rated Primetime Network

Fox News' 'Watters' World'
Fox News' 'Watters' World' (Image credit: Fox News)

Another week, another change at top of the primetime charts as Fox News leapfrogs over ESPN for top honors, according to Nielsen.

The news network averaged 2.4 million viewers for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5, topping last week’s winner ESPN, which garnered 2.1 million viewers, said Nielsen. The two networks have dominated the top two slots on the primetime chart since the last week of October. 

Hallmark Channel finished in third place for the third straight week with 1.5 million viewers, followed by MSNBC’s 1.2 million viewers. Freeform’s lineup of holiday films helped drive the network to a fifth place finish with 1 million viewers.

HGTV (915,000 viewers), TLC (884,000), INSP (793,000), TNT (767,000) and History (759,000) rounded out the top 10 most-watched networks in primetime.

Fox News topped the total day charts for the 42nd straight week, besting Hallmark Channel (849,000 viewers), ESPN (741,000), MSNBC (704,000) and CNN (524,000), 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.