‘Game of Thrones’ Slays Competition in Weekly Cable Ratings Race

Fox News remains atop primetime, total-day charts

HBO’s July 16 Game of Thrones season seven premiere drew the biggest audience for a scripted show on cable this summer with more than 10 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

The 10.1 million viewers tuning into the episode of the fantasy series bested the 8.1 million viewers for ESPN's July 11 Home Run Derby coverage in topping all cable shows for the week of July 10-July 16, according to Nielsen.

The Game of Thrones episode was up 27% from the 7.9 million viewers that tuned into last season’s premiere in April 2016, according to HBO. The episode also reached a gross audience of 16.1 million viewers (Linear Plays + Same-Day DVR Playback + HBOGO/HBO NOW), representing a 50% increase from last year’s premiere.

Fox News Channel was the most watched network on cable in primetime for the eighth consecutive week, averaging 2 million viewers, according to Nielsen. MSNBC was second with 1.7 million viewers, followed by ESPN with 1.6 million, and HGTV and USA, which tied with 1.4 million watchers.

TBS (1.2 million viewers), History (1.1 million), Investigation Discovery (961,000), Discovery Channel (953,000) and A&E (912,000) rounded out the top 10 most watched networks for the week.

Fox News Channel was also triumphant on a 24-hour basis for a whopping 28th consecutive week, besting Nickelodeon, MSNBC, Disney Channel and HGTV. 

ESPN, on the strength of its Home Run Derby coverage, finished as the most watched network among adults 18-49, while Adult Swim was tops in the demo on a 24-hour basis, Nielsen said.

Most Watched Cable Shows for the Week of July 10-16, 2017

DateShowNetworkTotal Viewers

7/16   Game of Thrones                               HBO                            10.1 million

7/10   Home Run Derby                               ESPN                           8.1 million

7/16   Home Run Derby Prelude                   ESPN                           4.1 million

7/10   MLB Celebrity Softball Game              ESPN                           3.5 million

7/16   Game of Thrones                              HBO                            3.3 million

7/16   NASCAR Cup Series Race                  NBCSN                         3.2 million

7/10   WWE Monday Night Raw                   USA                             3.0 million

7/10   WWE Monday Night Raw                   USA                             3.0 million

7/10   WWE Monday Night Raw                   USA                             2.9 million

7/11   Hannity                                           Fox News                     2.8 million

Source: Nielsen