It was the case in the broadcast ratings for the week leading up to Christmas, and it’s the case in the cable rankings as well: the NFL ruled in a week otherwise a bit light on original programming.

Three games — two on the NFL Network and “Monday Night Football” on ESPN — and assorted pre- and post-game shows occupy the Top 5 spots for the week in both adults 18-49 and viewers. NFL Network’s Sunday afternoon game between the Steelers and Ravens leads the way with a 4.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 14.77 million viewers.

Top 25 cable shows (including ties) in adults 18-49 for Dec. 19-25, 2016

Rank Show Net Day Time 18-49 Rating 18-49 Viewers (000s)
1 NFL FOOTBALL – BALTIMORE/PITTSBURGH NFLN Sun. 4:30 PM 4.5 5,777
2 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – CAROLINA/WASHINGTON ESPN Mon. 8:15 PM 3.6 4,581
3 NFL POSTGAME NFLN Sun. 7:38 PM 3.0 3,824
4 NFL FOOTBALL – CINCINNATI/HOUSTON NFLN Sat. 8:26 PM 1.9 2,476
5 NFL PREGAME NFLN Sun. 4:00 PM 1.4 1,859
NBA BASKETBALL – BOSTON/NEW YORK ESPN Sun. 12:00 PM 1.4 1,751
7 THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – NEW YORK GIANTS/PHILADELPHIA NFLN Thurs. 8:27 PM 1.3 1,645
NFL POSTGAME NFLN Sat. 11:14 PM 1.3 1,611
9 SPORTSCENTER ESPN Mon. 12:04 AM 1.2 1,592
LOVE AND HIP HOP VH1 Mon. 8:00 PM 1.2 1,542
NFL PREGAME NFLN Sat. 8:00 PM 1.2 1,495
NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION FRFM Sat. 9:45 PM 1.2 1,476
13 ELF FRFM Sat. 7:40 PM 1.1 1,352
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW USA Mon. 9:00 PM 1.1 1,350
15 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW USA Mon. 10:00 PM 1.0 1,341
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW USA Mon. 8:00 PM 1.0 1,338
24 HOURS OF A CHRISTMAS STORY TBS Sun. 10:00 AM 1.0 1,302
STREET OUTLAWS DISC Mon. 9:00 PM 1.0 1,281
LEAVE IT TO STEVIE – P VH1 Mon. 9:00 PM 1.0 1,243
20 THE BIG BANG THEORY TBS Tues. 10:00 PM 0.9 1,219
24 HOURS OF A CHRISTMAS STORY TBS Sun. 12:00 PM 0.9 1,192
FOOTBALL LIFE NFLN Sun. 8:00 PM 0.9 1,187
THE CURSE OF OAK ISLAND HIST Tues. 9:00 PM 0.9 1,178
24 HOURS OF A CHRISTMAS STORY TNT Sun. 10:00 AM 0.9 1,177
24 HOURS OF A CHRISTMAS STORY TBS Sat. 10:00 PM 0.9 1,157
THE BIG BANG THEORY TBS Tues. 9:30 PM 0.9 1,155
THE BIG BANG THEORY TBS Tues. 9:00 PM 0.9 1,155
THE BIG BANG THEORY TBS Weds. 9:30 PM 0.9 1,151
WWE SMACKDOWN USA Tues. 8:00 PM 0.9 1,129
THE BIG BANG THEORY TBS Weds. 9:00 PM 0.9 1,122
THE BIG BANG THEORY TBS Weds. 8:30 PM 0.9 1,119
THE BIG BANG THEORY TBS Fri. 10:00 PM 0.9 1,098

 

Top 25 cable shows in viewers for Dec. 19-25, 2016

Rank Show Net Day Time Viewers (000s)
1 NFL FOOTBALL – BALTIMORE/PITTSBURGH NFLN Sun. 4:30 PM 14,772
2 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – CAROLINA/WASHINGTON ESPN Mon. 8:15 PM 11,214
3 NFL POSTGAME NFLN Sun. 7:38 PM 8,878
4 NFL FOOTBALL – CINCINNATI/HOUSTON NFLN Sat. 8:26 PM 6,278
5 NFL PREGAME NFLN Sun. 4:00 PM 4,726
6 THE O’REILLY FACTOR FNC Mon. 8:00 PM 4,157
7 THE O’REILLY FACTOR FNC Tues. 8:00 PM 3,812
8 NFL PREGAME NFLN Sat. 8:00 PM 3,785
9 NBA BASKETBALL – BOSTON/NEW YORK ESPN Sun. 12:00 PM 3,687
10 SPECIAL REPORT W/BRET BAIER FNC Mon. 6:00 PM 3,668
11 WHEN CALLS THE HEART HALL Sun. 8:00 PM 3,657
12 NFL POSTGAME NFLN Sat. 11:14 PM 3,611
13 THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – NEW YORK GIANTS/PHILADELPHIA NFLN Thurs. 8:27 PM 3,574
14 THE FIVE FNC Mon. 5:00 PM 3,451
15 TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT FNC Mon. 7:00 PM 3,449
16 THE CURSE OF OAK ISLAND HIST Tues. 9:00 PM 3,441
17 THE O’REILLY FACTOR FNC Weds. 8:00 PM 3,235
18 SPORTSCENTER ESPN Mon. 12:04 AM 3,221
19 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW USA Mon. 8:00 PM 3,065
20 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW USA Mon. 9:00 PM 2,974
21 THE KELLY FILE FNC Mon. 9:00 PM 2,965
22 SPECIAL REPORT W/BRET BAIER FNC Tues. 6:00 PM 2,920
23 A CROWN FOR CHRISTMAS HALL Sun. 9:30 PM 2,859
24 THE FIVE FNC Weds. 5:00 PM 2,851
25 NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION FRFM Sat. 9:45 PM 2,845

All ratings are live + same-day. Source: The Nielsen Company.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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