Several live sports broadcasts absolutely dominated the cable charts in the first week of 2019.

ESPN’s broadcast of the Rose Bowl game between Washington and Ohio State won the week in adults 18-49 with a 4.2 rating and in total viewers with 16.18 million. The Texas vs. Georgia Sugar Bowl game came second in the demo with a 3.8 and came third in viewers (12.97 million).

The network’s broadcast of the Fiesta Bowl (2.4, 8.47 million) and the Indianapolis vs. Houston NFL wild card game (2.1, 6.10 million) both landed high in the charts as well, as ESPN grabbed the week’s top 10 spots in 18-49 and top 9 in viewers.

Top 25 original cable shows (including ties) in adults 18-49 for Dec. 31, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019

Rank Show Net Day Time 18-49 rating
18-49 viewers (000s)*
1 ROSE BOWL – WASHINGTON/OHIO STATE ESPN Tues. 5:06 PM 4.2 5,325
2 SUGAR BOWL – TEXAS/GEORGIA ESPN Tues. 8:50 PM 3.8 4,851
3 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Tues. 4:55 PM 3.7 4,723
4 SUGAR BOWL SUST ESPN Tues. 11:53 PM 2.7 3,494
5 FIESTA BOWL – LSU/UCF ESPN Tues. 12:57 PM 2.4 3,008
6 NFL WILDCARD – INDIANAPOLIS/HOUSTON ESPN Sat. 4:33 PM 2.1 2,675
7 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Tues. 12:22 AM 1.5 1,894
8 COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – NC SATE/TEXAS A&M ESPN Mon. 7:39 PM 1.4 1,766
9 SPORTSCENTER WEEKEND ESPN Sat. 7:38 PM 1.1 1,370
10 MONDAY NIGHT KICKOFF ESPN Sat. 4:20 PM 1.0 1,306
SURVIVING R. KELLY LIFETIME Sat. 10:03 PM 1.0 1,216
12 COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – MISSOURI/OKLAHOMA STATE ESPN Mon. 3:48 PM 0.9 1,203
SURVIVING R. KELLY LIFETIME Fri. 9:00 PM 0.9 1,190
NBA BASKETBALL – ROCKETS/WARRIORS TNT Thurs. 10:39 PM 0.9 1,178
SURVIVING R. KELLY LIFETIME Fri. 10:03 PM 0.9 1,178
SURVIVING R. KELLY LIFETIME Sat. 9:00 PM 0.9 1,178
90 DAY FIANCE TLC Sun. 8:00 PM 0.9 1,152
SURVIVING R. KELLY LIFETIME Thurs. 10:03 PM 0.9 1,126
19 REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA BRAVO Sun. 8:00 PM 0.8 1,062
SURVIVING R. KELLY LIFETIME Thurs. 9:00 PM 0.8 1,024
COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – MISSISSIPPI STATE/IOWA ESPN2 Tues. 12:00 PM 0.8 973
SPORTSCENTER 12AM ESPN Tues. 12:35 AM 0.8 973
NBA REGULAR SEASON – OKLAHOMA CITY/LA LAKERS ESPN Weds. 10:43 PM 0.8 960
24 SPORTSCENTER LATE ESPN Mon. 11:00 PM 0.7 922
NBA BASKETBALL – RAPTORS/SPURS TNT Thurs. 8:15 PM 0.7 909
CURSE OF OAK ISLAND: ROCK SOLID 68 HISTORY Tues. 9:00 PM 0.7 870
WWE SMACKDOWN USA Tues. 8:00 PM 0.7 870

*Adults 18-49 viewer figures are approximate.

Top 25 original cable shows in total viewers for Dec. 31, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019

Rank Show Net Day Time
Viewers (000s)
1 ROSE BOWL – WASHINGTON/OHIO STATE ESPN Tues. 5:06 PM 16,175
2 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Tues. 4:55 PM 13,984
3 SUGAR BOWL – TEXAS/GEORGIA ESPN Tues. 8:50 PM 12,971
4 SUGAR BOWL SUST ESPN Tues. 11:53 PM 9,328
5 FIESTA BOWL – LSU/UCF ESPN Tues. 12:57 PM 8,471
6 NFL WILDCARD – INDIANAPOLIS/HOUSTON ESPN Sat. 4:33 PM 6,103
7 COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – NC SATE/TEXAS A&M ESPN Mon. 7:39 PM 5,142
8 COLL FTBL BOWL STUDIO ESPN Tues. 12:22 AM 4,833
9 COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – MISSOURI/OKLAHOMA STATE ESPN Mon. 3:48 PM 3,830
10 RACHEL MADDOW SHOW MSNBC Thurs. 9:00 PM 3,542
11 RACHEL MADDOW SHOW MSNBC Fri. 9:00 PM 3,405
12 RACHEL MADDOW SHOW MSNBC Weds. 9:00 PM 3,322
13 COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – MISSISSIPPI STATE/IOWA ESPN2 Tues. 12:00 PM 3,256
14 MONDAY NIGHT KICKOFF ESPN Sat. 4:20 PM 3,009
15 CURSE OF OAK ISLAND: ROCK SOLID 68 HISTORY Tues. 9:00 PM 3,007
16 SPORTSCENTER WEEKEND ESPN Sat. 7:38 PM 2,998
17 HALL ORIGINAL MOVIE: WINTER CASTLE HALLMARK Sat. 8:00 PM 2,972
18 TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT FOX NEWS Weds. 8:00 PM 2,704
19 LAST WORD W/ L. ODONNELL MSNBC Thurs. 10:00 PM 2,704
20 COLL FTBL BOWL GAME – CINCINNATI/VIRGINIA TECH ESPN Mon. 12:00 PM 2,663
21 HANNITY FOX NEWS Weds. 9:00 PM 2,614
22 90 DAY FIANCE TLC Sun. 8:00 PM 2,586
23 LAST WORD W/ L. ODONNELL MSNBC Weds. 10:00 PM 2,553
24 THE FIVE FOX NEWS Weds. 5:00 PM 2,552
25 TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT FOX NEWS Thurs. 8:00 PM 2,539

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus