August 2016 Ratings: MSNBC Grows, Finishes No. 2 in Total Prime-Time Viewers

By A.J. Katz 

MSNBC continues to deliver solid ratings this summer, and it finished the month of August as the No. 2 cable news network in total prime time viewers. The network also defeated CNN in mornings when it came to total viewers, and delivered solid growth across multiple dayparts.

When looking at Monday – Sunday prime time, the norm for TVNewser, MSNBC improved by 76 percent in total viewers and was +86 percent in the key news demo compared to August 2015. It only finished 8,000 A25-54 viewers behind CNN. In total day, MSNBC improved 77 percent in total viewers and 77 percent in the news demo compared to August 2015.

MSNBC did manage to defeat CNN on Mondays through Fridays in prime time this past month, both in total viewers and in the 25-54 demo. That hadn’t happened since June 2014.

MSNBC was the No. 2 cable news network in total viewers every hour, beginning at 7 p.m. through 11 p.m. Hardball with Chris Matthews had a particularly good month, delivering its biggest total audience since November 2008 and biggest demo audience since October 2013. The Rachel Maddow Show was the top cable news program for August not on Fox News, and No. 5 in the key news demo across all of cable news. Additionally, Morning Joe posted its largest A25-54 audience since December 2012, and the biggest total audience for the 6 – 9 a.m. time period in MSNBC’s 20 year history. It grew 70 percent in total viewers, and +88 in the news demo compared to August 2015.

The ratings for August 2016:

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun): 1,127,000 Total Viewers / 264,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 652,000 Total Viewers / 165,000 A25-54

 

Here’s MSNBC’s release:

MSNBC BEATS CNN ACROSS THE BOARD IN PRIME FOR FIRST TIME IN OVER TWO YEARS

CNN Prime Falls to Third Place in Both Total Viewers and the Demo as MSNBC Surges After Conventions

“Morning Joe” Skyrockets to Deliver Best Month on Record and 18th Straight Win Over CNN’s “New Day”

MSNBC Dayside Grows by Triple Digits Across the Board Year to Year

AUGUST 30, 2016 — MSNBC’s ratings are booming as the general election season heats up. For the month of August 2016, MSNBC trounced CNN in mornings and primetime while also delivering massive growth and notable victories throughout key dayparts.

MSNBC surged past CNN in prime (M-F 8-11pm) in both total viewers (1.417 million vs. 972,000) and viewers A25-54 (320,000 vs. 312,000), marking the first across-the-board win over CNN in over two years (since June 2014).  Year to year, MSNBC prime grew +85% in total viewers and +113% in the demo vs. August 2015.  By comparison, CNN was up just 57% in total viewers and +63% in the demo, and FOX News was down -18% in total viewers and -33% in the demo.

CNN lagged behind MSNBC in total viewers every hour beginning at 7pm (“Hardball with Chris Matthews”), during each show in prime (“All In with Chris Hayes” at 8pm, “The Rachel Maddow Show” at 9pm, and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” at 10pm), and through MSNBC’s extended live programming at 11pm.  “Hardball” delivered its biggest total viewer audience since November 2008 and biggest demo audience since October 2013.

“Morning Joe” (M-F 6-9am) posted its biggest demo audience since December 2012, beat CNN’s “New Day” among total viewers for the 18th straight month and, for the third month in a row, delivered the biggest total audience for the 6-9am time period in MSNBC’s 20 year history. In this critical election year, “Morning Joe” posted significantly higher growth than its competition — up +70% in total viewers and +88% in the demo vs. August 2015, ahead of CNN (+53% in total viewers and +64% in the demo) and FOX News (+24% in total viewers and +22% in the demo).

MSNBC dayside (M-F 9am-5pm) posted triple-digit growth across the board compared to August 2015, again rising by dramatically higher rates than the competition. Year to year, MSNBC was up +104% in total viewers and 160% in the demo, far above both CNN (+73% in total viewers and +76% in the demo) and FOX News (+10% in total viewers and +16% in the demo).

MSNBC also outpaced the competition in total day (M-Su 6a-6a) growth, delivering gains of +77% in total viewers and +77% in the demo compared to August 2015 — more than both CNN (+56% in total viewers and +57% in the demo) and FOX News (+5% in total viewers and flat in the demo).

NOTE: All data is based on Nielsen L+SD.

AUGUST PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • “Morning Joe” (6-9am) ranked #2 in total viewers, topping CNN for the 18th straight month. Compared to August 2015, “Morning Joe” was up +70% in total viewers and +88% in the demo. August marked “Morning Joe’s” best demo delivery since December 2012.
  • MSNBC Dayside (9am-5pm) was up +104% in total viewers and +160% in the demo vs. August 2015, outpacing both CNN (+73% in total viewers and +76% in the demo) and FOX News (+10% in total viewers and +16% in the demo).
  • “Andrea Mitchell Reports” (12-1pm) was up +109% in total viewers and +180% in the demo vs. August 2015, outpacing both CNN (+77% in total viewers and +80% in the demo) and FOX News (+16% in total viewers and +18% in the demo).
  • “MTP Daily with Chuck Todd” (5-6pm) was up +84% in total viewers and +225% in the demo vs. August 2015, outpacing both CNN (+79% in total viewers and +69% the demo) and FOX News (+8% in total viewers and +16% in the demo).
  • “With All Due Respect” (6-7pm) was up +59% in total viewers and +133% in the demo vs. August 2015, outpacing CNN (+70% in total viewers and +58% in the demo) and FOX News (+7% in total viewers and +15% in the demo).
  • “Hardball with Chris Matthews” (7-8pm) beat CNN among total viewers and delivered the biggest total viewer audience since November 2008 and biggest demo audience since October 2013. August marked “Hardball’s” third consecutive month averaging over one million viewers. “Hardball” was up +59% in total viewers and +77% in the demo vs. August 2015.
  • “All In With Chris Hayes” (8-9pm) beat CNN among total viewers and delivered the hour’s biggest total viewer and demo audiences since November 2012. August marked “All In’s” third consecutive month averaging over one million viewers. “All In” was up +74% in total viewers and +107% in the demo vs. August 2015.
  • “The Rachel Maddow Show” (9-10pm) beat CNN among both total viewers and the demo, marking the 39th straight total viewer win over CNN and third demo victory in the past four months. August also marked “Maddow’s” biggest total viewer and demo audiences since November 2012. “The Rachel Maddow Show” was up +75% in total viewers and +113% in the demo vs. August 2015.
  • “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (10-11pm) beat CNN among total viewers for the 15th straight month. August marked the 10pm hour’s biggest total audience in MSNBC’s 20 year history and the biggest demo audience since November 2012. “The Last Word” was up +112% in total viewers and 142% in the demo vs. Aug 2015.
  • MSNBC’s 11pm-12am hour, which included extended live programming, beat CNN among total viewers. The 11pm hour was up +122% in total viewers and +138% in the demo vs. August 2015.

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