Six of the top 20 cable TV networks have shown flat or overall total viewer prime-time gains for all of 2018 -- MSNBC, Fox News Channel, TNT, Hallmark Channel, Food Network and ID.
Two of the news TV networks were also top cable channels: Fox News Channel, the cable top network overall, earned 2.48 million in prime-time viewers, up 3% from a year ago. MSNBC gained a stronger 12% to 1.8 million viewers, while ESPN was at 1.82 million, down 4%.
USA Network was the big entertainment cable network again -- a title it has held for a few years at 1.48 million prime-time viewers, down 7% from a year ago. After USA, HGTV was down 5% to 1.45 million and TBS lost 9% to 1.3 million.
TNT was in fourth place among entertainment networks, flat versus a year ago at 1.26 million viewers. Hallmark Channel was up 4% to 1.18 million viewers, at 6th place; ID was flat at 1.1 million; TLC came in at 9th place, adding 8% to 1.034 million; A&E Network was in 10th place, 5% more to 1.032 viewers; and Food Network, in 11th place, added 1% to 977,000.
Many of these networks also made some gains in 18-49 viewers and 18-34 viewers.
Cable TV entertainment networks' viewing data comes from blended Nielsen data -- live program-plus-seven days of time-shifted viewing through December 2; live-plus-three days of time-shifted viewing through December 13; and live-plus-same day through December 16.
Nielsen measured cable TV new network 2018 viewing numbers from January 1, 2018 through December 9, 2018 versus the period from December 26, 2016 to December 31, 2017.