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Weekly Cable Ratings: Fox News Tops Primetime; NBA Playoffs Propel ESPN, TNT

LeBron James, #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers, shoots the ball during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game One of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Sept. 4, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
(Image credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

 Fox News finished first among all cable networks for the first week in September as cable news and sports dominate the cable ratings charts.

Fox News averaged 3.5 million viewers in primetime during the week of Aug. 31-Sept. 6 to lead all cable networks, with MSNBC finishing second with 2.1 million watchers, according to Nielsen.

TNT (1.7 million viewers) and ESPN (1.5 million) -- bolstered by its coverage of the NBA playoffs -- finished in third and fourth place respectively. TLC, HGTV and CNN tied for fifth with 1.2 million viewers.

NHL playoffs-fueled NBC Sports Network (1.1 million viewers), TBS (926,000) and Hallmark Channel (924,000) rounded out the top 10 most watched networks for the week. 

Fox News Channel extended its weekly total day winning streak to 35 weeks, besting MSNBC, CNN, HGTV and ESPN, said Nielsen.