April 2015 Ratings: MSNBC Down Double Digits

By Chris Ariens 

MSNBC had its lowest rated month in almost 10 years (May, 2005), but can claim the No. 2 spot in cable news prime time for the month of April, but fell behind CNN in the younger demo, as well as in total day viewing. MSNBC was also down double digits year-over-year: down -12 percent in total day viewers and down -16 percent in prime time.

The ratings for April 2015 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 512,000 total viewers / 122,000 A25-54
  • Total Day Mon-Sun): 311,000 total viewers / 81,000 A25-54

In the demo, MSNBC was down -27% in total day and down -29 percent in prime time. Two of the network’s signature shows, “Morning Joe” and “The Rachel Maddow Show,” finished second among total viewers for the month, but fell behind in the demo. “Morning Joe” saw growth: up +5 percent in viewers vs. April 2014.

Just Eat It, the food waste-themed MSNBC documentary, beat CNN in both the demo (135,000 vs. 118,000) and total viewers (413,000 vs. 321,000) in its debut April 22.

Here’s MSNBC release…


MSNBC’S Primetime Tops CNN in Total Viewers for the Month

NEW YORK – April 28, 2015 – MSNBC’s core programming, including “Morning Joe” and “The Rachel Maddow Show,” continued to beat CNN in total viewers in April, and saw ratings improvements for a number of its programs. “Morning Joe” topped “New Day” in total viewers and saw a 5 percent increase in total viewers both from last month and last year. MSNBC’s M-F Primetime also beat CNN in total viewers for the month.
“Hardball” and “The Rachel Maddow Show” ranked #2 among total viewers for the 23rd consecutive month: “Hardball” 680,000 (vs. CNN 501,000) and “The Rachel Maddow Show” 734,000 (CNN 443,000).

“PoliticsNation” and “The Last Word” also came in second: “PoliticsNation” 508,000 (CNN 467,000) and “The Last Word” 543,000 (CNN 415,000).

“Morning Joe” beat CNN’s “New Day” in total viewers for the month 354,000 vs. 317,000. “Morning Joe” is up 5 percent from last month and up from last year. “Morning Joe” also continues to beat CNN with influencers, beating CNN in the nation’s capital – Washington DC

On April 22nd, as part of its larger efforts to cover a broader set of issues through its progressive lens, MSNBC aired the U.S. broadcast premiere of “Just Eat It”, a documentary focused on food waste. The documentary, which aired in honor of Earth Day, was followed by a discussion moderated by the network’s new food correspondent, chef and advocate Tom Colicchio. That programming beat CNN in both the demo (135,000 vs. 118,000) and total viewers (413,000 vs. 321,000) in its timeslot.

MSNBC also continues to have the most diverse cable news audience, ranking #1 in African-American audiences for total viewers in weekday primetime (M-F 8p-11p), prime (M-Su 8p-11p) and sales day (M-F 6a-2a). MSNBC ranked #1 among African-American total viewers for the 63rd consecutive month in M-Su primetime(8p-11p).