It appears MSNBC is reacting to CNN’s early numbers release with their own news. This Nielsen data is current up to Sunday, Dec. 13:
For the first time ever, MSNBC finished the year ahead of CNN in primetime among A25-54, beating them in M-F (307,000 vs. 297,000) and M-Su (280,000 vs. 268,000). MSNBC was the #1 news network among younger adults, 18-34 in primetime, M-Su (100,000). CNN is on pace to finish 4Q09 in 4th place for the first time ever in A25-54 in M-F primetime (FNC: 699,000; MSNBC: 248,000; HLN: 222,000; CNN: 208,000).
“Countdown with Keith Olbermann” finishes the year in second place in the 8pmET hour behind “The O’Reilly Factor.” MSNBC beat CNN in the hour by 57% in A25-54 viewers (360,000 vs. 230,000) and by 42% in Total Viewers (1,166,000 vs. 823,000).
“The Rachel Maddow Show” had the most growth of any cable news show in the 9pmET hour among Total Viewers, up 15% from 2008 (1,023,000 vs. 888,000) and up 127% from 2007 (450,000). Maddow comes in third behind “Hannity” and “Larry King Live,” with Maddow losing to King by 3,000 A25-54 viewers.
Of course, the year’s not over yet. Again, we’ll bring you final, final 2009 ratings later this month.