Tuesday night was a big one across the genres for the Fox Networks Group, which ruled the ratings roost — claiming the three most-watched cable networks with Fox Sports 1 (coverage of Major League Baseball playoff action), Fox News Channel (its regular primetime lineup) and FX (“Sons of Anarchy”).
The two clinching games of baseball’s National League Division Series made nascent net FS1 the most popular ad-supported cabler in primetime, averaging 3.443 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
FS1 enjoyed not only its most-watched total day, but also its most-watched program to date (3.921 million for Game 4 of the San Francisco-Washington series, which started around 9 p.m. ET) and its most-watched non-primetime program (3.2678 million for the late-afternoon/early evening Game 4 of the St. Louis-Los Angeles series). Audience peaked at 4.271 million from midnight-12:25 a.m. ET when the Giants eliminated the Nationals with a 3-2 victory.
This is the biggest month yet for Fox Sports 1, which launched in August 2013 and has aired a wide array of sports including UFC mixed martial arts, college football and international soccer — and will add the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to its roster starting next year.
Currently, five of Fox Sports 1’s top 10 most popular shows are 2014 NL Division Series games from this month. And the network is certain to attract its largest audience yet when it airs up to five games of the best-of-seven National League Championship Series between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals. Broadcaster Fox is showing Game 1 and a potential Game 6 of the series, which gets underway on Saturday.
Fox News Channel averaged 2.399 million viewers in primetime, and was led by longtime leadoff hitter “The O’Reilly Factor” (3.031 million). The network is celebrating its 18th anniversary this week, and is coming off its first-ever quarterly victory as the most-watched cable network in the primetime 7-11 p.m. window.
At FX, “Sons of Anarchy” was the No. 1 program in all of cable (4.321 million viewers), and the network overall averaged 2.195 million in primetime. In the key adults 18-49 demo, “Sons” led its 10 p.m. timeslot, outperforming broadcast dramas “Chicago Fire,” “Person of Interest” and “Forever.”