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Most-Watched American TV Channels

Name the most-watched TV networks in the United States.
Average number of daily viewers in 2015. Source: TV Insider
Quiz by Quizmaster
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First submittedJanuary 28, 2013
Last updatedMay 19, 2016
Times taken35,830
Rating3.84
5:00
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Viewers
Network
9.41 mil
CBS
7.76 mil
NBC
6.89 mil
ABC
5.20 mil
FOX
2.55 mil
Univision
2.02 mil
ESPN
1.88 mil
TBS
1.85 mil
USA
1.78 mil
Disney
1.78 mil
Fox News
1.77 mil
TNT
1.75 mil
CW
1.55 mil
Discovery
Viewers
Network
1.54 mil
History
1.49 mil
HGTV
1.44 mil
AMC
1.44 mil
Telemundo
1.31 mil
Adult Swim
1.25 mil
FX
1.13 mil
Food Network
1.07 mil
Lifetime
1.03 mil
Nickelodeon
1.00 mil
Syfy
985 k
ABC Family
959 k
A & E
944 k
TLC
Viewers
Network
891 k
Investigation Discovery
881 k
Hallmark
872 k
Bravo
790 k
Spike
672 k
CNN
652 k
Animal Planet`
644 k
Disney Junior
642 k
VH1
608 k
TV Land
606 k
MTV
598 k
BET
576 k
MSNBC
569 k
Comedy Central
+4
level 55
May 22, 2014
Bah. We haven't had cable in years.
+2
level 36
Mar 23, 2015
Since Dickens was alive?
+1
level 71
May 17, 2016
Or the old joke that made it on to one of Donald McGill's postcards: Young Man to Girl: "Do you like Kipling?" "I don't know, you naughty boy, I've never kippled." http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/10/02/like-kipling/
+2
level 36
Mar 23, 2015
Why didn't TOON work? Can't believe natgeo, bbc, tcm and science weren't there.
+2
level 63
Apr 20, 2018
Well, BBC is the British Broadcasting Corporation.... British. Think about it. Take all the time you need.
+6
level 67
May 8, 2018
Sure, but BBC America is a thing too.
+1
level 57
Aug 2, 2019
PBS wasn’t there either 🤔
+1
level 72
Mar 9, 2016
never heard of adult swim...only adult swim i know is what cartoon network calls their night time programming
+1
level 43
May 6, 2016
"Cartoon Network" is actually a valid answer for Adult Swim.
+2
level 61
May 17, 2016
Adult Swim is the nighttime programming for Cartoon Network. It's a lot of offbeat, madcap, and often outright bizarre comedy shows. It also shows reruns of Family Guy, American Dad, King of the Hill, etc. It's aimed at people in their college and post-college-but-not-yet-9-to-5 years. You remember that video "Too Many Cooks" that became a viral sensation last year? That was an Adult Swim product. It was "typical" in the sense that it had the same absurdist and ironic approach as most Adult Swim stuff, but atypical in that it was much cleverer than the standard fare. In any case, you should watch Too Many Cooks if you haven't seen it. You might not like it, but...it's definitely an experience.
+1
level 61
Feb 28, 2017
Nielsen considers Adult Swim and Cartoon network as separate channels for ratings purposes.
+2
level 74
May 17, 2016
Shocking that PBS isn't on that list.
+1
level 61
May 17, 2016
NBC is far and away my favorite channel.
+1
level 70
May 17, 2016
I was certain when I reached the limit of what I could remember that I would have never heard of the remaining 12 that I didn't get. Turns out, when I had cable, I actually watched six of those more than the most popular channels. Oh well.
+1
level 42
May 17, 2016
How come "Adult Swim" comes up when you type in cartoon?
+1
level 79
May 17, 2016
I guess because Adult Swim is Cartoon Network during the day.
+1
level 77
May 18, 2016
This doesn't make sense to me... isn't the channel still the Cartoon Network? Adult Swim is just the name of the programming block.
+2
level 62
May 18, 2016
They're technically different networks sharing the same channels. They're recorded different for ratings purposes. So according to the quiz, Cartoon Network didn't make the list, but they give you Adult Swim for trying.
+1
level 77
May 5, 2019
and isn't TV Land just something on Nickelodeon?
+1
level 63
Jul 13, 2019
Sears has separated its retail business and real estate holdings into separate companies. Starbucks and B&N often symbiotically coexist at the same store.

In the case of Adult Swim, it did start out as the nighttime block of programming on the Cartoon Network, but - for reasons - it's since been spun off into its own network. CN and AS share the same channel. They're both owned by Turner Broadcasting so it's kinda a moot point anyway.
+3
level 30
May 17, 2016
Wow the once mighty CNN sure has slipped over the years.
+2
level 71
Sep 14, 2016
Looks like MSNBC's star has fallen, too.
+3
level 53
Apr 14, 2019
I guess Democrats don't need propaganda fed to them.
+1
level 57
May 17, 2016
Adult Swim is not a channel, it's a programming block on Cartoon Network.
+1
level 61
May 18, 2016
I thought so too, but I looked it up after taking this quiz, and apparently it is considered a separate network that airs "on the same channel" as Cartoon Network.
+2
level 60
May 17, 2016
I'm not going to lie- I tried CSPAN and was completely unsurprised to see that it was not on this list.
+1
level 77
May 18, 2016
I was surprised HBO doesn't show up personally. I know they are a subscription based network so obviously get less views than CBS or NBC, unless maybe you count illegal downloads, but... still... less than BET?
+4
level 54
May 20, 2016
CSPAN wouldn't count anyway, because this list is for television networks, and not for sad home movies filmed with a microwave oven.
+1
level 49
Mar 23, 2018
tried HBO, TWC and CSPAN wasnt on here
+1
level 77
May 18, 2016
I typed in HG and Home and Garden... but didn't get credit for HGTV.
+1
level ∞
May 19, 2016
Home and Garden will work now
+1
level 41
Oct 20, 2016
No E!?
+2
level 48
Apr 6, 2017
I was shocked
+1
level 41
Jul 13, 2019
they just missed making it
+1
level 74
Dec 27, 2016
Why does Animal Planet have a ` on the end?
+1
level 48
Apr 6, 2017
I was wondering the same thing
+2
level 76
Dec 27, 2018
Two years later, we're still wondering.
+1
level 42
Aug 22, 2017
ABC Family is no longer a thing. I believe it's called "Freeform" now.
+2
level 77
Sep 10, 2017
accept "learning channel" for TLC?
+1
level 66
Jan 8, 2018
That's giving it WAYYYY too much credit. If you've watched the channel recently you'd know what I mean.

Here's an except from Wiki: "In 1998, the channel began to distance itself from its original name "The Learning Channel", and instead began to advertise itself only as "TLC". During this period, there was a huge shift in content, with most new programming being geared towards reality-drama and interior design shows. The huge success of shows like Trading Spaces, Junkyard Wars, A Wedding Story, and A Baby Story exemplified this new shift in programming towards more mass-appeal shows."
+2
level 77
Apr 4, 2018
Almost all of these networks have become a wasteland of horrible reality TV programming. History is probably the saddest of the bunch, in my opinion. But yes TLC did have Here Comes Honey Boo Boo...
+4
level 66
Jan 8, 2018
It would be interesting to compare these numbers with 2017 numbers. Channels like CNN, NBC, and ABC have pushed so much propaganda and fake news over the last year that their ratings are crumbling. I wonder how this reflects in viewership numbers.
+6
level 77
Apr 4, 2018
your whole world is fake news
+5
level 77
Apr 4, 2018
and.. not that CNN or NBC push fake news or propaganda (that's actually propaganda designed to distract and fool you, and you fell for it), but if propaganda or even political bias were really a recipe for poor ratings then Fox News would have gone off the air about 15 years ago. Most people actually LIKE bias in their "news." Especially those who aren't bright enough to grapple with nuance or grey areas. They prefer simple echo chambers that mirror their own prejudices. It's less informative but it is more emotionally satisfying. Neutral unbiased reporting like you get on traditional network news shows is boring and confusing for a lot of the audience. If your blinders are too thick to see that this is Fox News' entire business model, then, okay... look at Stephen Colbert's show and how his ratings took off right after he started speaking honestly (with scathing criticism) about Donald Trump every night. Didn't scare viewers away from him.
+5
level 77
Apr 4, 2018
Finally, "fake news" is not news stories that have political bias. "Fake news" is a term coined to describe *actual* fake news... stories that were fabricated from whole cloth, not just biased but completely made-up, produced mostly by Russians and some East Europeans, spread around on social media websites where such stories are not fact checked or filtered, to confuse people into thinking that it was real news, undermine American democracy, and (in many cases) swing the election in favor of Trump who Russia favored. (or just make money) Example: Pizza-Gate
Trump's fragile ego couldn't take this, because it cast doubt on the legitimacy of his election "win," and so he took to erroneously applying the term to news stories that were disfavorable to him to muddy the waters. And later his psychosis led him to state that he had invented the term.
Anyway... the point is your are very very confused. Please try getting some information from other sources than whatever you watch.
+2
level 58
Mar 8, 2018
You might want to allow 'freeform' for abc family
+2
level 51
Apr 4, 2018
I'm surprised BBC America isn't on here.
+1
level 77
Dec 27, 2018
I watch BBC often when I am overseas, at least up to the point when the accent gets to be too grating, or they start talking about something phenomenally uninteresting and irrelevant happening in Africa again, and I have to change the channel to CNN International where they also have people with British accents talking about irrelevant non-news in Africa, and then I turn off the TV.

But back in the States I can't recall ever actually seeing the BBC on TV anywhere.
+1
level 23
Apr 20, 2018
Where is E! Is A Famous Network The Keeping Up With The Kardashians Rob And Chyna Life Of Kylie
+1
level 69
Dec 4, 2018
I knew the names of a lot of the channels, but I realize I watched only 8 of the channels on the list
+1
level 65
Dec 27, 2018
It's December 27, 2018 and it was announced that MSNBC beat FOX News in ratings this week!
+5
level 51
Jan 22, 2019
Fox News not suprising. The dumbest and trashiest 30% of America love confirming their bias by sitting in their trailers and watching Hannity and Carlson.
+1
level 57
Aug 2, 2019
Their ratings are probably even higher now, sadly.
+2
level 53
Apr 14, 2019
I can't imagine still having cable TV. Now if we could only get an alternative to internet from cable companies, so they would all go bankrupt, that would be great.
+1
level 57
Aug 2, 2019
I wonder if the “history channel” had higher ratings back when they actually taught history 🤔
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