ESPN kicked off 2017 as it ended 2016 – in first place among the most watched cable networks on a weekly basis.
ESPN averaged 3.2 million viewers in primetime during the week of Jan. 2 to Jan. 8 to top all cable networks, according to Nielsen. Fox News finished second with 2.4 million viewers, followed by HGTV with 1.7 million viewers. TBS, Discovery Channel and USA all tied for fourth with 1.5 million watchers.
History (1.2 million viewers), Investigation Discovery and Disney Channel (tied with 1.1 million), and Food Network, MSNBC and TNT (tied with 1.0 million) rounded out the top 10 most watched networks for the week.
Fox News garnered the most viewers on average on a 24-hour basis for the week, besting in order ESPN, Nickelodeon, HGTV and Disney Channel.
ESPN was easily the top choice among viewers 18-49 for the week over TBS, USA Network and Discovery, according to Nielsen.
Most Watched Cable Shows For The Week of Jan. 2 to Jan. 8
Date Show Network Total Viewers
1/2 Rose Bowl (USC/Penn St.) ESPN 15.7 million
1/2 College Football Studio Show ESPN 9.5 million
1/2 Sugar Bowl (Auburn/Okl) ESPN 9.5 million
1/7 NFL Wild Card (Oak/Hou) ESPN 6.3 million
1/2 College Football Studio Show ESPN 6.1 million
1/2 Cotton Bowl (W. Mich/Wis) ESPN 5.4 million
1/2 Sugar Bowl Post Show ESPN 5.2 million
1/4 The O’Reilly Factor Fox News 3.9 million
1/3 The O’Reilly Factor Fox News 3.9 million
1/5 The O’Reilly Factor Fox News 3.8 million