Broadcast

MSNBC Beats CNN Across the Board in Primetime for First Time in Over Two Years

MSNBC Beats CNN Across the Board in Primetime for First Time in Over Two Years

New York, NY

MSNBC’s ratings are booming as the general election season heats up. For the month of August 2016, MSNBC trounced CNN in mornings and primetime while also delivering massive growth and notable victories throughout key dayparts.

MSNBC surged past CNN in prime (M-F 8-11pm) in both total viewers (1.417 million vs. 972,000) and viewers A25-54 (320,000 vs. 312,000), marking the first across-the-board win over CNN in over two years (since June 2014).  Year to year, MSNBC prime grew +85% in total viewers and +113% in the demo vs. August 2015.  By comparison, CNN was up just 57% in total viewers and +63% in the demo, and FOX News was down -18% in total viewers and -33% in the demo.  

CNN lagged behind MSNBC in total viewers every hour beginning at 7pm ("Hardball with Chris Matthews"), during each show in prime ("All In with Chris Hayes" at 8pm, "The Rachel Maddow Show" at 9pm, and "The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell" at 10pm), and through MSNBC’s extended live programming at 11pm.  "Hardball" delivered its biggest total viewer audience since November 2008 and biggest demo audience since October 2013. 

"Morning Joe" (M-F 6-9am) posted its biggest demo audience since December 2012, beat CNN’s "New Day" among total viewers for the 18th straight month and, for the third month in a row, delivered the biggest total audience for the 6-9am time period in MSNBC’s 20 year history. In this critical election year, "Morning Joe" posted significantly higher growth than its competition -- up +70% in total viewers and +88% in the demo vs. August 2015, ahead of CNN (+53% in total viewers and +64% in the demo) and FOX News (+24% in total viewers and +22% in the demo).

MSNBC dayside (M-F 9am-5pm) posted triple-digit growth across the board compared to August 2015, again rising by dramatically higher rates than the competition. Year to year, MSNBC was up +104% in total viewers and 160% in the demo, far above both CNN (+73% in total viewers and +76% in the demo) and FOX News (+10% in total viewers and +16% in the demo).

MSNBC also outpaced the competition in total day (M-Su 6a-6a) growth, delivering gains of +77% in total viewers and +77% in the demo compared to August 2015 -- more than both CNN (+56% in total viewers and +57% in the demo) and FOX News (+5% in total viewers and flat in the demo).

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NOTE: All data is based on Nielsen L+SD.

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