January 2016 Ratings: MSNBC Sees Most Viewer Growth of All Nets

By Chris Ariens 

So far, MSNBC has been shut out of the debates, which have provided blockbuster ratings to rivals Fox News and CNN.

Still, MSNBC saw the most total viewer growth among the cable news networks in January, up +31 percent in total day viewing. The network was also up +20 percent in the demo, which comes after double digit declines in January 2015.

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

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun): 720,000 total viewers / 179,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 423,000 total viewers / 112,000 A25-54

MSNBC’s dayside programming (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) was up even more: up +46 percent in viewers and up +60 percent in the demo. In prime time, where the money is made, MSNBC was up +39 percent in viewers and up +27 percent in the demo. While MSNBC is in 3rd place overall, its highlights include “The Rachel Maddow Show” which came in 2nd in its timeslot and experienced big double digit growth over last year. Another highlight, Morning Joe, which was up +54 percent in viewers and up +41 percent in the demo, topped CNN’s New Day.

MSNBC’s full release:

MSNBC Beats CNN in A25-54 Growth in Prime

“Morning Joe” and “The Rachel Maddow Show” Top CNN in A25-54, Best Month Since 2014

NEW YORK – February 2, 2016 – MSNBC saw the most growth in cable news for January 2016 during “Morning Joe” and Monday-Friday dayside programming (M-F 9a-5p). MSNBC’s dayside programming (M-F 9a-5p) was up 60% in A25-54 and 46% in total viewers while Fox News was up only 27% and CNN was down by 9%. MSNBC’s M-F 8-11p was up 44% in A254-54 and 45% in total viewers over last year, topping CNN which was only up 16% and tying Fox News which was only up 44% in A25-54 over last year in M-F 8-11p. January 2016 was the best M-F 8-11p demo performance for MSNBC since February 2014 and in total viewers since October 2013. M-F 9a-5p saw the highest A25-54 since March 2014.

“Morning Joe” was up 41% in A25-54 (127,000 vs. CNN’s 115,000) and 54% in total viewers (505,000 vs. CNN’s 396,000) over last year, beating CNN in both for the month. January 2016 was the best month for “Morning Joe” since January 2014. In M-F 6-9a, Fox News was only up 13% and CNN was down 17% in A25-54.

“The Rachel Maddow Show” beat CNN in A25-54 (244,000 vs. CNN’s 232,000) and total viewers (1,062,000 vs. CNN’s 727,000) for the month with double digit growth over last year, 59% in A25-54 and 42% in total viewers. At 9pm, CNN and Fox News were both down in A25-54 over last month. “The Rachel Maddow Show” had the best A25-54 delivery since February 2014 and best total viewers since October 2013.

“Hardball with Chris Matthews” (897,000 vs. CNN’s 727,000) and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (861,000 vs. CNN’s 652,000) also came in second for the month in total viewers.
Across the board MSNBC saw double digit growth over last year in both A25-54 and total viewers.

On the weekends, “Melissa Harris-Perry” was up 89% in A25-54 on Saturday and 46% on Sunday over last year. It was the highest Saturday performance for “Melissa Harris-Perry” since February 2014 and highest Sunday since August 2014. “Weekends with Alex Witt” was up 80% in A25-54 on Saturday and 91% on Sunday with the highest A25-54 performance since March 2014.