The cable ratings for the holiday week of Dec. 23-29 were dominated by several live sports broadcasts.

ESPN’s broadcast of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA game between Clemson and Ohio State topped the week’s adults 18-49 (5.6 rating) and total viewer (20.39 million) charts. Meanwhile, the network’s coverage of the Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings “Monday Night Football” game placed fifth in both charts (3.6, 13,57 million viewers) as well.

In total, ESPN generated 21 of the week’s 28 highest-rated cable broadcasts, and 18 of the 25 most-watched.

Top 25 original cable shows (including ties) in adults 18-49 for Dec. 23-29, 2019

Rank Show Net Day Time 18-49 rating
18-49 viewers (000s)*
1 CFP SEMIFINAL – CLEMSON/OHIO STATE ESPN Sat. 8:17 PM 5.6 7,117
2 CFP SEMIFINAL SUST ESPN Sat. 7:48 PM 4.4 5,632
3 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Sat. 7:58 PM 4.3 5,555
4 CFP SEMIFINAL ESPN Sat. 4:20 PM 4.2 5,376
5 NFL REGULAR SEASON – GREEN BAY/MINNESOTA ESPN Mon. 8:13 PM 3.6 4,582
6 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Sat. 4:07 PM 2.9 3,750
7 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Sat. 12:08 AM 2.6 3,290
8 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Sat. 3:46 PM 2.3 2,970
9 MONDAY NIGHT KICKOFF ESPN Mon. 8:00 PM 1.7 2,150
10 COTTON BOWL – MEMPHIS/PENN STATE ESPN Sat. 12:00 PM 1.4 1,830
11 SPORTSCENTER 12AM ESPN Mon. 11:28 PM 1.3 1,638
12 NBA REGULAR SEASON – BOSTON/TORONTO ESPN Weds. 12:12 PM 1.2 1,485
SPORTSCENTER 12AM ESPN Sat. 12:26 AM 1.2 1,472
14 COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – OKLAHOMA STATE/TEXAS A&M ESPN Fri. 6:48 PM 1.1 1,421
15 24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY: A CHRISTMAS STORY TBS Weds. 10:00 AM 1.0 1,267
16 24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY: A CHRISTMAS STORY TBS Weds. 12:00 PM 0.8 1,024
COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – MICHIGAN STATE/WAKE FOREST ESPN Fri. 3:24 PM 0.8 1,011
24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY: A CHRISTMAS STORY TBS Weds. 8:00 AM 0.8 973
19 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Sat. 11:50 AM 0.7 934
COLL FTBL SCOREBOARD ESPN Thurs. 7:36 PM 0.7 922
COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – PITTSBURGH/EASTERN MICHIGAN ESPN Thurs. 8:00 PM 0.7 922
24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY: A CHRISTMAS STORY TBS Tues. 8:00 PM 0.7 909
NBA REGULAR SEASON – LA CLIPPERS/LA LAKERS ESPN Weds. 8:00 PM 0.7 896
90 DAY FIANCE TLC Sun. 8:00 PM 0.7 883
NBA REGULAR SEASON – NEW ORLEANS/DENVER ESPN Weds. 10:39 PM 0.7 858
COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – AIR FORCE/WASHINGTON STATE ESPN Fri. 10:16 PM 0.7 858
HOLIDAY BOWL – IOWA/USC FOX SPORTS 1 Fri. 8:01 PM 0.7 858
24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY: A CHRISTMAS STORY TBS Tues. 10:00 PM 0.7 832

Top 25 original cable shows in total viewers for Dec. 23-29, 2019

Rank Show Net Day Time
Viewers (000s)
1 CFP SEMIFINAL – CLEMSON/OHIO STATE ESPN Sat. 8:17 PM 20,393
2 CFP SEMIFINAL SUST ESPN Sat. 7:48 PM 16,682
3 CFP SEMIFINAL ESPN Sat. 4:20 PM 16,466
4 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Sat. 7:58 PM 16,463
5 NFL REGULAR SEASON – GREEN BAY/MINNESOTA ESPN Mon. 8:13 PM 13,566
6 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Sat. 4:07 PM 12,020
7 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Sat. 3:46 PM 9,703
8 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Sat. 12:08 AM 8,323
9 MONDAY NIGHT KICKOFF ESPN Mon. 8:00 PM 6,726
10 COTTON BOWL – MEMPHIS/PENN STATE ESPN Sat. 12:00 PM 6,220
11 COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – OKLAHOMA STATE/TEXAS A&M ESPN Fri. 6:48 PM 4,895
12 SPORTSCENTER 12AM ESPN Mon. 11:28 PM 4,019
13 COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – MICHIGAN STATE/WAKE FOREST ESPN Fri. 3:24 PM 3,795
14 SPORTSCENTER 12AM ESPN Sat. 12:26 AM 3,602
15 NBA REGULAR SEASON – BOSTON/TORONTO ESPN Weds. 12:12 PM 3,324
16 COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – PITTSBURGH/EASTERN MICHIGAN ESPN Thurs. 8:00 PM 3,045
17 HALL ORIGINAL MOVIE HALLMARK Weds. 8:00 PM 3,016
18 HANNITY SPECIAL FOX NEWS Mon. 9:00 PM 2,737
19 TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT FOX NEWS Mon. 8:00 PM 2,735
20 THE FIVE FOX NEWS Mon. 5:00 PM 2,683
21 TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT FOX NEWS Thurs. 8:00 PM 2,660
22 HANNITY FOX NEWS Thurs. 9:00 PM 2,637
23 COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – AIR FORCE/WASHINGTON STATE ESPN Fri. 10:16 PM 2,617
24 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Sat. 11:50 AM 2,600
25 24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY: A CHRISTMAS STORY TBS Weds. 10:00 AM 2,580

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

Posted by:Alex Welch

Alex Welch has been writing for TV by the Numbers since January 2016. In his off time he enjoys rewatching old episodes of Game of Thrones and unironically singing along to ABBA. Every now and then, he even does them at the same time. He lives in Los Angeles.

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