Sure, it's debate season but it's also Monday Night Football and MLB playoffs season and according to Nielsen data, Fox News was the #1 most-watched network in basic cable in both primetime and total day last week (10/15-10/21). The last time FNC was #1 for the week was the week of the 2012 GOP convention 8/27/12-9/2/12, which included three nights of primetime coverage. FNC, outpaced ESPN and USA Network in primetime hours, averaging 3.7 million viewers.
Additionally, FNC had the #2 telecast in all of cable behind Monday Night Football on ESPN which delivered 12.8 million viewers from 8:30-11:51pm to FNC’s Presidential Debate which delivered 11.1 million viewers from 9-10:39pm, which came in ahead of The Walking Dead's premiere which drew 10.9 million viewers.
In Primetime, FNC had its highest-rated week in total viewers since the week of the Palin/Biden debate (9/29/08-10/5/08). Meanwhile, in prime, MSNBC ranked #6 and CNN at #16. In total day, MSNBC was #12 and CNN was #24. Rounding out the top 5 in cable in Primetime: FNC, ESPN, USA, TBS and History. In Total Day, the top five are: FNC, NICK, ADSM, ESPN and USA.