January 2017 Ratings: MSNBC Posts Significant Year-Over-Year Prime Time Audience Growth

By A.J. Katz Comment

MaddowMSNBC

MSNBC might have finished No. 3 behind CNN and Fox News in prime time as well as in Total Day this past month, but it delivered more year-over-year growth in total viewers relative to its duo of rivals.

The peacock’s cable news network grew +61 percent in total prime time viewers, and +53 percent in total viewers from the prime time demo relative to January 2016. The network finished only 4,000 average total viewers behind CNN in Monday – Sunday prime time (1.164M vs. 1.160M).

In January, MSNBC’s weekday prime time programming slate (Mon – Fri, 8 – 11 p.m.) improved +54 percent in the prime time demo, more than CNN (+38 percent) and Fox News (+35 percent). The network ranked No. 6 in weekday prime time viewers, ahead of CNN.

The Rachel Maddow Show carried MSNBC in January, and beat CNN’s regular programming in total viewers for the 44th straight month. Maddow grew double digits and posted more growth than Fox News in both total viewers (+71 percent vs FNC’s +35 percent) and the A25-54 demo (+69 percent vs. FNC’s +68 percent) over January 2016.

The ratings for January, 2017 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun): 1,160,000 total viewers / 273,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 647,000 total viewers / 155,000 A25-54

During Total Day, MSNBC posted +53 percent growth in total viewers and +38 percent growth in adults 25-54. With a continued focus on cable news, MSNBC grew +60 percent in the dayside daypart (Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.), and +49 percent in the demo.

Morning Joe finished runner up to CNN’s New Day in the key A25-54 demo, but it defeated its morning show rival in total viewers for the 23rd month in a row. Joe also posted a +24 percent improvement in total viewers from January 2016, delivering an average of 625,000 viewers per broadcast, which is the network’s largest January total viewer delivery in the time period.

MSNBC’s full release:

JANUARY 2017 RATINGS – MSNBC RACKS UP HIGHER TOTAL VIEWER GROWTH THAN CNN AND FOX NEWS ACROSS KEY DAYPARTS
MSNBC Prime Beats CNN in Total Viewers, Ranks 6th Among All Cable Networks
MSNBC Weekday Prime Growth Outpaces the Competition in Key A25-54 Demo
“Morning Joe” Tops CNN for 23rd Month in a Row, Posts Best January Ever for Time Period
NEW YORK (January 31, 2017) – For the month of January 2017, MSNBC racked up the most growth for total viewers in cable news across key dayparts. MSNBC outpaced the competition in total day M-Su 6a-6a (+53% vs. CNN’s +37% and FNC’s +45%), M-F prime 8-11pm (+62% vs. CNN’s +34% and FNC’s +27%), and dayside M-F 9am-5pm (+60% vs. CNN’s +36% and FNC’s +48%).
In the key news A25-54 demographic, MSNBC’s weekday prime M-F 8-11pm was up +54%, topping CNN (+38%) and Fox News (+35%) for the month.
Among all cable networks, MSNBC ranked 6th in M-F prime 8-11pm for total viewers (up from 16th place in January 2016), beating 9th place CNN (1,432,836 vs. 1,239,580). In the A25-54 demo, MSNBC ranked #22 among all cable networks (up from #33 in January 2016). For full day M-F 6a-2a, MSNBC ranked 10th overall in total viewers (up from #17) and #22 in the A25-54 demo (up from #37 in January 2016).
Now in its 10th year on MSNBC, “Morning Joe” continued its winning streak over CNN’s third-place “New Day” in total viewers, besting CNN for the 23rd month in a row. “Morning Joe” was up +24% in total viewers (625,000 vs. CNN’s 488,000) and +13% in A25-54 over last year, posting its best January total viewer delivery ever for any show on MSNBC during the time period.
MSNBC’s shift to breaking news in dayside (M-F 9am-5pm) last year continues to pay strong dividends as the daypart’s year over year growth in total viewers continues to soar over the competition, posting gains of +60% (vs. CNN’s +36% and FNC’s +48%). In the A25-54 demo, MSNBC dayside posted gains of +49% over January 2016.
NOTE: Data based on Nielsen Live+Same Day for the period 12/26/16-1/29/17. Individual show data represents regular programming only.
JANUARY 2017 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

MORNING JOE (M-F 6-9am)
• “Morning Joe” continued its winning streak over CNN’s third-place “New Day” in total viewers for the 23rd month in a row.
• “Morning Joe” was up 24% in total viewers (625,000 vs. CNN’s 488,000) and +13% in A25-54 over last year.
• “Morning Joe” posted its best January total viewer delivery ever for any show during the time period.
• “Morning Joe” averaged 625,000 total viewers (ahead of CNN’s 488,000) and 143,000 viewers A25-54.
DAYSIDE (M-F 9am-5pm)
• MSNBC dayside’s year-to-year growth in total viewers continues to soar over the competition, posting gains of +60% (vs. CNN’s +36% and FNC’s +48%).
• In the A25-54 demo, MSNBC dayside posted gains of +49% over January 2016.
• “Andrea Mitchell Reports” (M-F 12-1pm) delivered more growth than CNN and Fox News in both total viewers and A25-54 demo. “Andrea Mitchell Reports” was up +56% in total viewers (vs. CNN’s +29% and FNC’s +32%) and +41% in the demo (vs. CNN’s +36% and FNC’s +40%).
• “Andrea Mitchell Reports” averaged 625,000 total viewers and 120,000 viewers A25-54.
EARLY EVENING (M-F 5-8pm)
• “MTP Daily with Chuck Todd” was up +39% in total viewers and +42% in the demo over January 2016.
• “MTP Daily” averaged 770,000 total viewers and 143,000 viewers A25-54.
• “For the Record with Greta,” which debuted on MSNBC in January 9, 2017, far outpaced the growth of CNN and Fox News in both total viewers (+61% vs. CNN’s +34% and FNC’s +42%) and the A25-54 demo (+83% vs. CNN’s +39% and FNC’s +64%) compared to January 2016.
• “For the Record” averaged 829,000 total viewers and 181,000 viewers A25-54.
• “Hardball with Chris Matthews” topped third-ranked CNN among total viewers for the sixth straight month.
• “Hardball” was up +29% in total viewers and +44% in the demo over January 2016.
• “Hardball” averaged 1.155 million total viewers and 236,000 viewers A25-54.
WEEKDAY PRIME (M-F 8-11pm)
• MSNBC’s weekday prime growth M-F 8-11pm outpaced CNN and Fox News in total viewers (+62% vs. CNN’s +34% and FNC’s +27%) and the A25-54 demo (+54% vs. CNN’s +38% and FNC’s +35%).
• Of all cable networks, MSNBC ranked 6th overall for M-F prime 8-11pm in total viewers for January 2017 (up from #16 in January 2016), beating 9th place CNN (1,432,836 vs. 1,239,580 viewers).
• In the A25-54 demo, MSNBC ranked #22 (up from #33 in January 2016).
• “All In with Chris Hayes” delivered more growth than its competition in total viewers (+54% vs. CNN’s +33% and FNC’s +22%) and the A25-54 demo (+57% vs. CNN’s +42% and FNC’s +36%).
• “All In” averaged 1.267 million total viewers and 276,000 viewers A25-54.
• “The Rachel Maddow Show” extended its winning streak and ranked #2 in total viewers, beating CNN’s regular programming for the 44th straight month.
• “The Rachel Maddow Show” was up double digits and posted more growth than Fox News in both total viewers (+71% vs FNC’s +35%) and the A25-54 demo (+69% vs. FNC’s +68%) over January 2016.
• “The Rachel Maddow Show” averaged 1.814 million total viewers and 412,000 viewers A25-54.
• “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” again ranked #2 in total viewers, beating CNN’s regular programming for the 20th straight month.
• “The Last Word” was up +69% in total viewers and +54% in the demo compared to January 2016.
• “The Last Word” averaged 1.451 million total viewers and 296,000 viewers A25-54.
THE 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS (M-Th 11-11:30pm)
• “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” ranked #2 in the half hour ahead of CNN among total viewers for the 6th straight month.
• “The 11th Hour” posted more growth than CNN and Fox News in total viewers (+119% vs. CNN’s +105% and FNC’s +40%) and nearly doubled that of Fox News in the demo (+77% vs. FNC’s +38%).
• “The 11th Hour” averaged 1.17 million total viewers and 248,000 viewers A25-54.
AM JOY (Sa-Su 10am-12pm)
• Saturday editions of “AM Joy” doubled the growth of its competition in total viewers (+111% vs. CNN’s +16% and FNC’s +54%). “AM Joy” also posted more growth than CNN in the A25-54 demo (+63% vs. CNN’s +45%). The Saturday edition averaged 820,000 total viewers and 176,000 viewers A25-54.
• Sunday editions posted more growth than CNN and Fox News in both total viewers (+136% vs. CNN’s +38% and FNC’s +49%) and the A25-54 demo (+82% vs. CNN’s +68% and FNC’s +80%). The Sunday edition averaged 729,000 total viewers and 180,000 viewers A25-54.

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