October Ratings: MSNBC Is One of the Most-Watched Networks on Cable

By A.J. Katz Comment

MSNBC delivered large total audiences once again, finishing in the basic cable top 5 in prime time and in total day for the month of October.

The network scored a monthly victory over CNN in total viewers, and has now averaged more total day viewers than its competitor for 8 consecutive months, and more Monday – Friday prime time viewers than CNN for 11 consecutive months.

NBC’s cable news network managed to deliver year-over-year growth in total day viewers (+1 percent), while its competitors posted year-over-year ratings declines in what was an presidential election coverage-heavy October 2016.

The network also posted more total viewer growth in the dayside daypart (M-F, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.), +15 percent versus Oct. 2016.

That said, MSNBC finished runner up to Fox News. Additionally, it was -6 percent in total prime time viewers, -19 percent in the prime time demo, +1 percent in total day viewers and -9 percent in the total day demo versus the prior October.

The ratings for October, 2016 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun): 1,582,000 total viewers / 349,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 899,000 total viewers / 202,000 A25-54

Morning Joe delivered more total viewers than CNN New Day for the 32nd consecutive month, and posted +16 percent year-over-year growth.

At 4 p.m., Deadline: White House, hosted by Nicolle Wallace, beat CNN in total viewers and delivered more growth than the Fox News and CNN time slot competition in total viewers (+23 percent) vs. October 2016. The show also posted double digit growth among adults 25-54 (+18 percent).

At 6 p.m., The Beat With Ari Melber was the only cable news show in its timeslot to post year-over-year growth (+16 percent).

At 11 p.m., The 11th Hour With Brian Williams finished No. 1 in its timeslot in total viewers for the sixth straight month. The program finished No. 2 in the demo, ahead of CNN. The 11th Hour posted +9 percent year-over-year viewer growth, while the 11 p.m. competition each posted double digit declines.

AM Joy, hosted by Joy Reid, finished No. 2 in total viewers in the Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. time period during October. The Saturday edition of the program averaged nearly 1 million total viewers.

Here’s MSNBC’s release:

MSNBC DOMINATES CNN AMONG TOTAL VIEWERS IN OCTOBER
MSNBC Total Day M-Su 6am-6am Beats CNN in Total Viewers for 8th Straight Month
MSNBC Weekday Prime Bests CNN in Total Viewers for the 11th Consecutive Month and in A25-54
MSNBC Dayside Beats CNN Among Total Viewers
“The Rachel Maddow Show” and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” Beat CNN in Total Viewers and A25-54
“The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” is #1 at 11pm for the 6th Straight Month, Beats CNN in A25-54
“Morning Joe” Notches More Total Viewers than CNN for the 32nd Straight Month
More People Watch MSNBC than CNN at 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, 11pm – and Saturdays at 10am
OCTOBER 2017 HIGHLIGHTS
MSNBC Total Day (M-Su 6am-6am)
• More people watched MSNBC than CNN for the 8th straight month.
• MSNBC was the only cable news network to post growth in total viewers compared to October 2016 (+1% vs. FOX News’ -6% and CNN’s -29%).
• MSNBC total day averaged 899,000 total viewers and 202,000 viewers A25-54.
MORNING JOE (M-F 6-9am)
• “Morning Joe” (6-9am) notches more total viewers than CNN for the 32nd straight month.
• “Morning Joe” was up +16% in total viewers (vs. CNN’s +1%) over October 2016.
• “Morning Joe” averaged 1.02 million total and 237,000 viewers A25-54.
DAYSIDE (M-F 9am-5pm)
• MSNBC dayside beat CNN in total viewers.
• Dayside averaged 920,000 total viewers and 186,000 A25-54 viewers.
• Dayside posted more growth than the competition in total viewers (+15% vs. FOX News’ +10% and CNN’s -11%). In A25-54 viewers, MSNBC saw more growth than CNN (+9% vs. CNN’s -3%).
• More people watch MSNBC than CNN during the following hours in dayside:
o “MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle” (9-10am) beat CNN in total viewers for the 9th straight month and showed more growth than the competition in total viewers (+23% vs. FOX News’ +12% and CNN’s -6%) over October 2016. The show also posted more growth than CNN in A25-54 (+18% vs. CNN’s +9%).
o “MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle” averaged 992,000 total viewers and 204,000 viewers A25-54.
o “MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson” (10-11am) beat CNN in total viewers and delivered more growth than the competition in total viewers (+15% vs. FOX News’ +10% and CNN’s -6%) over October 2016. The show also posted more growth than CNN in A25-54 (+9% vs. CNN’s +4%).
o “MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson” averaged 877,000 total viewers and 180,000 viewers A25-54.
o “MSNBC Live with Velshi & Ruhle” (11am-12pm) beat CNN in total viewers and delivered more growth than the competition in total viewers (+13% vs. FOX News’ +9% and CNN’s -11%) over October 2016.
o “Velshi & Ruhle” averaged 846,000 total viewers and 160,000 viewers A25-54.
o “Andrea Mitchell Reports” (12-1pm) topped CNN in total viewers in the time period for the 4th straight month.
o “Andrea Mitchell Reports” also delivered more growth than the competition in total viewers (+13% vs. FOX News’ +10% and CNN’s -10%) over October 2016.
o The show averaged 888,000 total viewers and 169,000 viewers A25-54.
o “Deadline: White House” (4-5pm) beat CNN in total viewers and delivered more growth than the competition in total viewers (+23% vs. FOX News’ 0% and CNN’s -11%) over October 2016. The show also posted more growth in A25-54 than CNN (+18% vs. CNN’s -8%).
o “Deadline” averaged 1.09 million total viewers and 216,000 viewers A25-54.
EARLY EVENING (M-F 5-8pm)
• Every early evening show on MSNBC beat CNN in total viewers.
• “MTP Daily with Chuck Todd” (5-6pm) beat CNN for the 6th straight month and delivered more growth than the competition in total viewers (+8% vs. FOX News’ -2% CNN’s -14%). “MTP Daily” posted more growth in A25-54 than CNN (+1% vs. CNN’s -8%).
• “MTP Daily” averaged 1.18 million total viewers and 228,000 viewers A25-54.
• “The Beat with Ari Melber” (6-7pm) beat CNN for the 4th straight month and was the only cable news show in the time period to post growth among total viewers (+16% vs. FOX News’ -4% CNN’s -15%). “The Beat” also posted more growth than CNN in A25-54 (+9% vs. CNN’s -6%).
• “The Beat” averaged 1.23 million total viewers and 256,000 viewers A25-54.
• “Hardball with Chris Matthews” (7-8pm) topped CNN in total viewers for the 15th straight month.
• “Hardball” was the only cable news show in the time period to post growth among total viewers (+11% vs. FOX News’ -1% CNN’s -22%).
• “Hardball” averaged 1.66 million total viewers and 344,000 viewers A25-54.
WEEKDAY PRIME (M-F 8-11pm)
• MSNBC weekday prime bested CNN in total viewers for the 11th consecutive month and also beat CNN in A25-54.
• In total viewers, weekday prime averaged 2.04 million viewers and 449,000 viewers A25-54.
• Among all cable networks, MSNBC ranked #4 in total viewers and #7 in A25-54.
• “All In with Chris Hayes” (8-9pm) beat CNN in total viewers for the 11th straight month.
• “All In” was the only cable news show in the time period to post growth among total viewers (+7% vs. FOX News’ -17% CNN’s -35%) and A25-54 (+1% vs. FOX News’ -6% CNN’s -32%).
• “All In” averaged 1.67 million total viewers and 372,000 viewers A25-54.
• “The Rachel Maddow Show” (9-10pm) beat CNN in total viewers and A25-54.
• “Maddow” delivered more growth than the competition in total viewers (+19% vs. FOX News’ +15% and CNN’s -33%) over October 2016. The show also posted growth in A25-54 (+10% vs. CNN’s -31%).
• “Maddow” averaged 2.5 million total viewers and 558,000 viewers A25-54.
• “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (10-11pm) bested CNN in total viewers for the 29th straight month. “The Last Word” also beat CNN in A25-54.
• “The Last Word” was the only cable news show in the time period to post growth among total viewers (+6% vs. FOX News’ -22% CNN’s -25%) and in A25-54 (+2% vs. FOX News’ -15% CNN’s -24%) over October 2016.
• “The Last Word” averaged 1.95 million total viewers and 416,000 viewers A25-54.
THE 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS (M-F 11pm-12am)
• “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” finished the month as the #1 show at 11pm in total viewers for the 6th consecutive month. “The 11th Hour” also beat CNN in A25-54.
• “The 11th Hour” was the only cable news show in the time period to post growth among total viewers (+9% vs. FOX News’ -17% CNN’s -30%).
• “The 11th Hour” averaged 1.44 million total viewers and 310,000 viewers A25-54.
AM JOY (Sa-Su 10am-12pm)
• Saturday editions of “AM Joy” topped CNN in total viewers during the time period.
• The Saturday edition averaged 988,000 total viewers and 205,000 viewers A25-54. The Sunday edition averaged 842,000 total viewers and 200,000 viewers A25-54.
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