NFL Preseason Seizes Top Spot in Cable Ratings

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The conventional wisdom is that Fox News Channel rules cable ratings. That was not close to true this past week, as ESPN showed the power of NFL football to draw a crowd. The Dallas versus Houston game drew the largest cable audience last week with a 2.0 rating, which translates to 3.2 million viewers.

The Oprah Winfrey Channel has been marked down as a bust. Yet its “Haves and Have Nots” finished second in the cable ratings last week. The series is about a well-off family in Savannah, the members of which cannot get along. The show has a rating of 1.9, or 2.9 million viewers.

Moving down the chart are more familiar faces. Decades-old profession wrestling, in its current incarnation “WWE Raw,” took the numbers three, four and six places. All on USA Network, they ranked 1.8 (3.0 million), 1.8 and 1.7 (2.8 million).

Fox talk show champion Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Factor” took the number five (1.8 rating, 2.7 million), seven (1.7, 2.6 million) and eight (also 1.7, 2.5 million) positions.

At least there were two familiar faces at the top of the ratings. O’Reilly and wrestling, a very off pair.