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  • Writer's pictureAriel Brooks Benz

Top Broadcast and Cable Networks by Viewers

In today's digital age, many businesses have shifted their advertising strategies towards online platforms. However, traditional media such as TV still holds a significant place in the advertising industry. Despite the rise of digital media, TV continues to be a dominant force in reaching a large audience with a single ad.


According to Nielsen's Total Audience Report for Q1 2022, the average American adult spent over three and a half hours a day watching live TV, which is still higher than any other media platform. TV advertising continues to be a crucial tool for businesses looking to reach a broad audience with their message.


In addition, TV advertising offers unique advantages over digital media. TV ads have the power to create an emotional connection with viewers through sight, sound, and motion, which can be difficult to achieve with digital ads. TV ads can also create a sense of urgency, leading to an immediate response from viewers.


Here are the top national networks and cable stations ranked by viewership numbers, as of Q1 2023:

National Networks:

  1. CBS - 6.86 million viewers

  2. NBC - 5.49 million viewers

  3. ABC - 4.80 million viewers

  4. Fox - 4.00 million viewers

Cable Stations:

  1. Fox News - 2.44 million viewers

  2. ESPN - 1.90 million viewers

  3. MSNBC - 1.17 million viewers

  4. HGTV - 1.15 million viewers

  5. TBS - 1.10 million viewers

It is worth noting that these numbers fluctuate over time, but TV remains a powerful platform for advertisers to reach a broad audience. The combination of traditional and digital advertising strategies can lead to the most effective and comprehensive advertising campaigns.


In conclusion, while digital media has become an essential part of any advertising strategy, TV still plays a crucial role in reaching a wide audience and creating an emotional connection with viewers. With the right mix of traditional and digital advertising, businesses can create a powerful and effective advertising campaign that resonates with their target audience.



Here is a comprehensive list of all national cable stations ranked by viewership numbers, as of Q1 2023:

  1. Fox News - 2.44 million viewers

  2. ESPN - 1.90 million viewers

  3. MSNBC - 1.17 million viewers

  4. HGTV - 1.15 million viewers

  5. TBS - 1.10 million viewers

  6. TNT - 1.00 million viewers

  7. CNN - 0.97 million viewers

  8. Discovery Channel - 0.93 million viewers

  9. USA Network - 0.91 million viewers

  10. History Channel - 0.83 million viewers

  11. TLC - 0.80 million viewers

  12. A&E - 0.75 million viewers

  13. Hallmark Channel - 0.74 million viewers

  14. Food Network - 0.70 million viewers

  15. FX - 0.67 million viewers

  16. Investigation Discovery - 0.63 million viewers

  17. Bravo - 0.62 million viewers

  18. Syfy - 0.59 million viewers

  19. Nickelodeon - 0.57 million viewers

  20. Paramount Network - 0.55 million viewers

  21. E! - 0.51 million viewers

  22. AMC - 0.50 million viewers

  23. BET - 0.48 million viewers

  24. Comedy Central - 0.48 million viewers

  25. Freeform - 0.47 million viewers

  26. OWN - 0.47 million viewers

  27. MTV - 0.44 million viewers

  28. TV Land - 0.42 million viewers

  29. Animal Planet - 0.41 million viewers

  30. ID: Investigation Discovery - 0.39 million viewers

  31. VH1 - 0.39 million viewers

  32. Oxygen - 0.38 million viewers

  33. WE tv - 0.38 million viewers

  34. Science - 0.37 million viewers

  35. Travel Channel - 0.36 million viewers

  36. Paramount Movie Network - 0.34 million viewers

  37. National Geographic Channel - 0.33 million viewers

  38. GSN - 0.33 million viewers

  39. CMT - 0.31 million viewers

  40. Logo - 0.28 million viewers

  41. Discovery Life - 0.26 million viewers

  42. Pop - 0.25 million viewers

  43. Great American Country - 0.21 million viewers

  44. BBC America - 0.20 million viewers

  45. Cooking Channel - 0.20 million viewers

  46. REVOLT - 0.18 million viewers

  47. UPtv - 0.17 million viewers

  48. American Heroes Channel - 0.16 million viewers

  49. The Weather Channel - 0.16 million viewers

  50. AXS TV - 0.09 million viewers

It is important to note that viewership numbers can vary greatly depending on the time of day and specific programming being aired. However, this list provides a comprehensive overview of the top national cable stations in terms of viewership.

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