July 2015 Ratings: MSNBC Sees Viewer Growth, But Down in Prime Time Demo

By Mark Joyella 

MSNBC celebrated its 19th birthday in July with double-digit total viewer growth for the month in both total day (+17 percent) and in prime time (+12 percent), where the network posted a win over CNN.

But MSNBC continues to struggle in the prime time demo, which matters most to advertisers. After seeing an 8-year low last July, MSNBC was down another -3 percent this month.

The ratings for July 2015:

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun): 617,000 Total Viewers / 147,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 371,000 Total Viewers / 95,000 A25-54

Morning Joe took another win over CNN’s New Day among total viewers in July, the show’s fifth monthly win, though it fell behind New Day in the demo. Morning Joe also showed gains versus July 2014 among total viewers (+33 percent) and in the A25-54 demo (+23 percent). A number of MSNBC programs also topped CNN among total viewers including Morning Joe, The Ed Show, Hardball, PoliticsNation, All In with Chris Hayes, The Rachel Maddow Show and The Last Word.

Here’s MSNBC’s release:


“Morning Joe” Tops CNN in Total Viewers for Fifth Month; Third Month of Demo Growth

MSNBC Primetime Tops CNN in Total Viewers

NEW YORK – July 28, 2015 – For July 2015, MSNBC showed more month-to-month growth than all other cable news networks.  Many key MSNBC programs saw ratings improvements  up from June 2015, including growth for “Morning Joe” (up 10%), “The Rachel Maddow Show” (up 7%), “Hardball with Chris Matthews” (up 11%), “All In with Chris Hayes” (up 13%) and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (up 23%), among total viewers.   A number of MSNBC programs also topped CNN among total viewers, including “Morning Joe”, “The Ed Show”, “Hardball”, “PoliticsNation”, “All In with Chris Hayes”, “The Rachel Maddow Show”, “The Last Word” and in the Primetime M-F 8-11p daypart.  In the A25-54 demo, MSNBC saw Total Day growth up 3% from July 2014 and up 6% from June 2015, and for Primetime, MSNBC was up 8% over June 2015.

“Morning Joe” beat CNN in total viewers for the fifth month in a row, and saw its highest monthly ratings since November of 2013.  In total viewers, “Morning Joe” was up 33% from July 2014.  For the A25-54 demo, “Morning Joe” rose consistently for the third straight month, 18% over June 2015 and 23% over July 2014.

MSNBC’s dayside programming also saw some ratings gains in total viewers over July 2014 and in the A25-54 demo, “The Rundown with José Díaz-Balart”, “MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts” and “Now with Alex Wagner” are all up from July 2014.

On the weekends, MSNBC saw ratings boosts both in the demo and with total viewers.  In July, “Up with Steve Kornacki” generated its highest ratings in the demo since December of 2014 and its highest ratings among total viewers since February of 2014.

(Source: NSI, July 2015)