NEW YORK, N.Y. – Viewers chose cable news over broadcast TV for coverage of the Republican National Convention last week, with the Nielsen Top 20 claiming eight cable programs focused on the GOP confab.
Among the cable news networks, it was Fox News Channel’s week in particular to shine even as it reeled from the ouster of its founding father, Roger Ailes, accused of sexual harassment.
Besides its flurry of high-ranking individual programs, Fox News ranked No. 1 by far in prime-time among cable networks, averaging 4.1 million viewers. And it was second among all networks, cable or broadcast, behind only by NBC.
Meanwhile, CNN, the week’s second-most-watched cable network, drew an average of 2.4 million viewers with its GOP coverage.
Among the networks overall, NBC led with a prime-time average of 5.1 million viewers, for what NBC says is its longest winning streak, excluding Olympics coverage, in 14 years. Last week’s top two shows were editions of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
But Fox News took the third and fourth slots with its coverage of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s acceptance speech. For the week, Fox News’ 4.1 million average was followed by CBS with 4.0 million. ABC had 3.8 million and CNN had 2.4 million, with the Fox Broadcasting network right behind 2.2 million.
Univision had 1.7 million viewers, Telemundo had 1.5 million, followed by MSNBC — the third member of the cable-news trio — with 1.4 million. After that, ION Television had 1.2 million, and the CW had 890,000 viewers.
In the evening news derby, NBC’s “Nightly News” held the top spot in a squeaker with 7.56 million viewers, followed by ABC’s “World News Tonight” with 7.50 million. The “CBS Evening News” had 6.09 million.
For the week of July 18-24, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 11.10 million; “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 10.78 million; GOP Convention Coverage (10 p.m. Thursday), Fox News Channel, 9.72 million; GOP Convention Coverage (11 p.m. Thursday), Fox News Channel, 9.10 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 7.87 million; “Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 7.68 million; GOP Convention Coverage (Wednesday, 10 p.m.), Fox News Channel, 7.34 million; “The Bachelorette,” ABC, 6.76 million; “The $100,000 Pyramid,” ABC, 6.72 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 6.64 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. CNN is owned by Time Warner.