Cable networks: number of viewers in the U.S. October 2019

As of October 2019, Fox News was the leading cable network in the United States, with approximately 1.5 million total day viewers. Fox News also leads the ranking of the most viewed cable news networks during prime time. Competitor MSNBC ranked second, while ESPN ranked third with 909 thousand total day viewers.

Also in the ranking was kids’ cable channel Nickelodeon, an achievement given that Nickelodeon’s viewers are increasingly turning to Netflix for content.

Are cable networks still successful?

For cable television, the future is uncertain (and not as bright as providers might hope). Nickelodeon has more competition now than ever before, and its viewership has noticeably declined since 2010. In that year, the channel had an average of 3.06 million viewers, a number which had almost halved by 2015 and has continued to drop ever since.

Cord-cutting is an ongoing problem for cable providers, as more and more viewers opt for cheaper, more varied services like YouTube TV or Netflix. However, it cannot be argued that the sheer amount of content available via streaming platforms is certainly appealing (especially for a lower price).

Cable providers in general have struggled to retain their customers, and the churn rate of pay TV providers has been increasing since 2014 with dramatic growth in recent years.

Leading cable networks in the United States in October 2019, by number of total day viewers

Number of viewers in thousands
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Release date

October 2019


United States

Survey time period

October 2019

Age group

2 years and older

Special properties

total day viewers (live plus same day); Monday to Sunday

Supplementary notes

Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Cable TV in the U.S."

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