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Weekly Cable Ratings: Fox News, TBS Score in Primetime

Skyelar Potter #5 of the Morehead State Eagles attempts to drive to the basket as Miles McBride #4 of the West Virginia Mountaineers defends in the second half in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament held at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 19, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Skyelar Potter #5 of the Morehead State Eagles attempts to drive to the basket as Miles McBride #4 of the West Virginia Mountaineers defends in the second half in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament held at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 19, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Image credit: Jamie Sabau/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The launch of the March Madness men's college basketball tournament couldn't slow down Fox News Channel's ratings fast break for the month as the news network remained undefeated on both a primetime and total day basis, according to Nielsen. 

Fox News averaged 2.2 million viewers in primetime to finish in first place for the week of March 15 to March 21, according to Nielsen. TBS and TNT’s coverage of the tournament -- which returned this year after taking a pandemic-driven hiatus in 2020 -- helped the networks finish in second and fourth place respectively during the week. 

Also Read: CBS' Sean McManus on March Madness: I'm Not Worrying about Ratings Being Down 

MSNBC finished third with 1.7 million viewers, followed by HGTV and CNN, which tied for fifth place with 1.1 million viewers. Hallmark Channel (1 million viewers), History (1 million), Discovery Channel (822,000) and USA Network (763,000) rounded out the top 10 most watched cable networks in primetime, said Nielsen.

Fox News was triumphant on a total day basis for the fifth consecutive week, outpacing MSNBC, CNN, TBS and HGTV, 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.