November 2016 Ratings: MSNBC Sees Most Cable News Growth

By A.J. Katz Comment

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November 2016 was an important month across the cable news landscape, with viewers flocking to the networks in record numbers for their fix of 2016 presidential election coverage and breaking, Donald Trump-focused news.

As one might expect, MSNBC saw its numbers skyrocket this month relative to November 2015. During the 6 a.m. – 6 a.m. daypart, the network grew +84 percent in total viewers and was up +105 percent in the ad-friendly demo of Adults 25-54. That’s more year-over-year total day growth than rivals CNN and Fox News.

The numbers for November, 2016 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun):  1,335,000 total viewers / 358,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun):  736,000 total viewers / 195,000 A25-54

MSNBC was a top 10 basic cable network for November during weekday prime time (M-F, 8 – 11 p.m.), finishing No. 5 in total viewers and No. 10 in the A25-54 demo. The network grew +103 percent in total viewers and +162 percent in A25-54 in the daypart relative to November 2015.

Despite the substantial year-over-year improvement, MSNBC finished behind both CNN and Fox News across the board in November.

How does the network’s November 2016 ratings stack up against Monday – Sunday numbers from November 2012?

The results are mixed. The network grew +4 percent in total prime time viewers and +2 percent in total day viewers from November 2012, but lost viewers from the demo, -20 percent in prime time and -24 percent in total day.

Looking at program performance for November, Morning Joe, Hardball with Chris Matthews, The Rachel Maddow Show, and The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell are key programs which averaged more total viewers than their CNN time slot counter parts. The same was true for The 11th Hour with Brian Williams.

Joe grew +57 percent in total viewers and +86 percent in the key A25-54 demo from November 2015. Maddow grew +91 percent in total viewers and +140 percent in the news demo. The Last Word had a particularly strong month, up +118 percent in total viewers and +155 percent in the demo. Hardball grew +46 percent in total viewers and +119 percent in the demo from last November.

Andrea Mitchell Reports averaged 734,000 total viewers in November, representing the best month for a 12 p.m. MSNBC show since Nov. 2012.

MSNBC’s full release:

MSNBC POSTS GREATER TOTAL DAY GROWTH THAN CNN AND FOX NEWS IN NOVEMBER 2016

MSNBC Also Delivers Higher Year-to-Year Total Day Growth than CNN in Key News Demo

“Morning Joe” Continues Total Viewer Win Over Third-Place CNN for 21st Straight Month

MSNBC Dayside Growth Continues to Far Outpace the Competition

MSNBC Beats CNN Among Total Viewers at 7pm, 9pm, 10pm, and 11pm

NOVEMBER 30, 2016 — During the critical election month of November 2016, MSNBC posted greater year-to-year total audience growth than both CNN and FOX News. MSNBC’s total day viewership (M-Su 6a-6a) was up +84% among total viewers compared to November 2015 (vs. +76% for CNN and +60% for FOX News). MSNBC also grew by higher rates than CNN among the demo most valued by news advertisers, posting total day gains of +105% among viewers A25-54 (vs. CNN’s +102%).

Since making a strategic shift to live breaking news, MSNBC dayside (M-F 9am-5pm) continues to grow by significantly higher rates than any other cable news network. MSNBC dayside posted year-to-year gains of +94% in total viewers (vs. +69% for CNN and +48% for FOX News) and +145% in the demo (vs. +107% for CNN and +103% for FOX News) compared to November 2015.

“Morning Joe” extended its winning streak over CNN’s third-place “New Day,” marking the 21st straight month ahead of CNN in total viewers.

“Hardball with Chris Matthews,” “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” and “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” each drew more total viewers than CNN’s competing programs.

Among all cable networks in November, MSNBC was the #5 ranked network in total viewers and #10 ranked network in the 25-54 demo for weekday primetime (M-F 8-11p).

NOTE: November 2016 ratings are based on Nielsen Live+Same data day for 10/31-11/27/16. Individual show data represents regular programming only, excluding election night and breaking news.

NOVEMBER 2016 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

MORNING JOE (M-F 6-9am)

  • Morning Joe” topped CNN’s “New Day” among total viewers for the 21st straight month.
  • “Morning Joe” posted year-to-year growth of +57% among total viewers and +86% in the demo (vs. +80% for FOX).
  • “Morning Joe” averaged 824,000 total viewers (ahead of CNN’s 715,000) and 206,000 viewers A25-54.

DAYSIDE (M-F 9am-5pm)

  • MSNBC dayside’s year-to-year growth continues to far outpace the competition with gains of +94% in total viewers (vs. +69% for CNN and +48% for FOX News) and +145% in the demo (vs. +107% for CNN and +103% for FOX News).
  • MSNBC dayside averaged 707,000 total viewers and 162,000 viewers A25-54.
  • Andrea Mitchell Reports” (M-F 12-1 p.m.) delivered the time period’s biggest demo audience since November 2012. “AMR” averaged 734,000 total viewers and 174,000 viewers A25-54.

EARLY EVENING (M-F 5-8pm)

  • MTP Daily with Chuck Todd” averaged 1.003 million total viewers and 218,000 viewers A25-54. “MTP Daily” posted year-to-year gains of +96% in total viewers (vs. +76% for CNN and +40% for FOX News) and +241% in the demo (vs. +108% for CNN and +94% for FOX News).
  • With All Due Respect,” which debuted on MSNBC in January 2016, averaged 802,000 total viewers and 179,000 viewers A25-54. “WADR” posted year-to-year gains of +63% in total viewers (vs. +37% for CNN and +36% for FOX News) and +129% in the demo (vs. +48% for CNN and +72% for FOX News).
  • Hardball with Chris Matthews” topped third-ranked CNN among total viewers for the fourth straight month. “Hardball” delivered 1.271 million total viewers (ahead of CNN’s 1.182 million) and 276,000 viewers A25-54.

WEEKDAY PRIME (M-F 8-11pm)

  • Of all cable networks, MSNBC weekday prime ranked #5 among total viewers and #10 in the A25-54 demo.
  • Compared to November 2015, MSNBC prime grew by +103% among total viewers (vs. +63% for FOX News) and +162% in the A25-54 demo (vs. +115% for FOX News).
  • MSNBC prime averaged 1.644 million total viewers and 440,000 viewers A25-54.
  • All In with Chris Hayes” delivered higher year-to-year growth than the competition, posting gains of +88% in total viewers (vs. +65% for CNN and +28% for FOX News) and +136% in the demo (vs. +68% for CNN and +59% for FOX News).
  • “All In” averaged 1.353 million total viewers and 323,000 viewers A25-54.
  • The Rachel Maddow Show” again ranked #2 in total viewers, beating CNN’s regular programming for the 42nd straight month.
  • “The Rachel Maddow Show” averaged 1.793 million total viewers (ahead of CNN’s 1.348 million) and 427,000 viewers A25-54.
  • The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” again ranked #2 in total viewers, beating CNN’s regular programming for the 18th straight month.
  • “The Last Word” averaged 1.506 million total viewers (ahead of CNN’s 1.249 million) and 344,000 viewers A25-54.

THE 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS (M-Th 11-11:30pm)

  • The 11th Hour with Brian Williams,” which debuted on September 6, ranked #2 ahead of CNN among total viewers for the third straight month.
  • “The 11th Hour” averaged 1.238 million total viewers (ahead of CNN’s 1.095 million) and 308,000 viewers A25-54.
  • “The 11th Hour” is posting significantly higher year-to-year growth than its competitors, up +185% in total viewers (vs. +98% for CNN and +60% for FOX News) and +205% in the demo (vs. +76% for CNN and +83% for FOX News).

AM JOY (Sa-Su 10am-12pm)

  • AM Joy” is also far outpacing the competition in year-to-year growth for the time period. Saturday editions grew by +140% among total viewers (vs. 18% for CNN and +53% for FOX News) and +144% in the demo (vs. +47% for CNN and +112% for FOX News) compared to November 2015. Sunday editions grew by +159% in total viewers (vs. +54% for CNN and +62% for FOX News) and +146% in the demo (vs. +73% for CNN and +133% for FOX News).
  • Saturday editions averaged 779,000 total viewers and 183,000 viewers A25-54. Sunday editions averaged 625,000 total viewers and 150,000 viewers A25-54.

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