Weekly Cable Ratings: TBS Hits Primetime Ratings Home Run

Philadelphia Phillies player Bryce Harper after hitting a home run in Game 4 of the 2022 National League Championship Series
Bryce Harper celebrates a home run in the Philadelphia Phillies' National League Championship Series clincher over the San Diego Padres. (Image credit: Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Cable networks airing live sports programming scored big ratings returns last week, led by baseball playoffs-infused TBS.

TBS, bolstered by its coverage of Major League Baseball’s American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, averaged 2.9 million viewers during the week of October 17 to October 23 to top all cable networks, according to Nielsen. ESPN, which continued to draw big audiences to Monday Night Football, finished second for the week with 2.7 million viewers.

FS1, which aired the National League Championship Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres, pulled into fourth place in primetime with 1.6 million viewers, and in sixth place on the total day chart with 484,000 viewers.

Fox News finished third in primetime for the week with 2.3 million viewers, while MSNBC rounded out the top five most watched networks with 1.1 million viewers.

TNT was sixth with 1 million viewers, followed by Hallmark Channel (982,000 viewers), HGTV (833,000), TLC (741,000) and INSP (635,000).

Fox News Channel remained atop the total-day charts for the 42nd week, fighting off challengers TBS (892,000 viewers), ESPN (888,000), MSNBC (719,000) and Hallmark Channel (549,000), Nielsen reported. ■  

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.