July 2016 Ratings: MSNBC Has Most-Watched Month in 4 Years

By A.J. Katz Comment

MSNBC celebrated its 20th anniversary by delivering its most-watched month in almost four years. The network also delivered triple digit growth in total prime time viewers (+117 percent) and in the news demo (+135 percent) versus July 2015.

These have not been your typical dog days of summer for MSNBC.

The ratings for July 2016:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun):  1,337,000 Total Viewers /  345,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun):  716,000 Total Viewers /  181,000 A25-54

The Rachel Maddow Show led the charge in prime time once again, allowing MSNBC to beat CNN in total viewers at 9 p.m. for the 38th straight month. Maddow also improved double digits in both total viewers and A25-54 from July 2015. All In with Chris Hayes was up 64 percent in total viewers and up 113 percent in the news demo from July 2015.  The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell also finished ahead of rival CNN in its time slot (total viewers). The program improved 55 percent in total viewers and 87 percent in the news demo from July 2015.

Convention coverage was of course the highlight of the month for MSNBC. The network’s prime time coverage of the 2016 DNC out-performed Fox News, ABC and CBS across the board, and its coverage of the 2016 RNC was up double digits compared to 2012.

MSNBC can also claim significant year-over-year growth in the dayside daypart (Mon – Fri, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.). With a shift to breaking news during the daypart, the network delivered its biggest total viewer audience since the last election (November 2012) and largest A25-54 audience in over three years (since January 2013). MSNBC dayside posted triple digit year-to-year gains both in total viewers and the news demo versus July 2015.

Morning Joe’s daily focus on the election has delivered positive results. The popular morning show delivered the biggest total viewer audience for the 6 – 9 a.m. timeslot in MSNBC’s 20 year history– breaking the previous records of the past two months and beating New Day for the 17th straight month. Joe was up 68 percent in both total viewers and the A25-54 demo vs. July 2015.

Here’s MSNBC’s release:

AUGUST 2, 2016 — MSNBC continued to surpass ratings records and deliver significantly higher year-to-year growth than its cable news competitors for the month of July 2016.

The success of MSNBC’s strategic shift to breaking news in the daytime hit new highs: MSNBC dayside programming (M-F, 9am-5pm) delivered its biggest total viewer audience since the last presidential election (November 2012) and biggest A25-54 demo audience in over three years (since January 2013). Among total viewers, MSNBC dayside posted year-to-year gains of 117% vs. July 2015, far outpacing both CNN (88%) and FOX News (47%). Among the key A25-54 demo, MSNBC dayside grew by 192% vs. July 2015, more than doubling the demo growth of CNN (93%) and tripling that of FOX News (58%).

“Morning Joe” again delivered the biggest total viewer audience for the 6-9am timeslot in MSNBC’s 20 year history– breaking the previous records of the past two months and beating CNN’s “New Day” for the 17th straight month. The influential morning show was up 68% in both total viewers and the A25-54 demo vs. July 15, ahead of FOX News’ growth (41% in total viewers and 33% in A25-54).

MSNBC weekday primetime (M-F, 8-11pm) posted its best demo ratings delivery since November 2012, with gains of 206% over July 2015 (compared to 74% for FOX News). In total viewers, MSNBC prime coverage was up 134% and marked its largest total audience since October 2012.

During primetime coverage of the 2016 Democratic National Convention (July 25 – 28), MSNBC consistently topped Fox News, ABC, and CBS across the board, drawing an average of 3.8 million total viewers and 1.1 million A25-54 viewers. MSNBC’s primetime coverage of the Republican National Convention (July 18-21) grew an impressive 34% in total viewers and 32% in the demo compared to 2012. For both conventions, more Americans turned to NBC News and MSNBC combined than any other broadcast or cable television network.

JULY PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • “Morning Joe” (6-9am) ranked #2 in total viewers, topping CNN among total viewers for the 17th straight month. “Morning Joe” was up 68% in both total viewers and the demo vs. July 2015.

  • MSNBC Dayside (9am-5pm) delivered its best monthly total viewer average since January 2013 and biggest demo audience since November 2012. Compared to July 2015, MSNBC dayside was up 117% in total viewers and 192% in the demo.

  • “Andrea Mitchell Reports” (12-1pm) posted its biggest total viewer audience since November 2012 and best demo delivery since January 2013. AMR is up +125% in total viewers and +243% in the demo vs. July 2015.

  • “MTP Daily” (5-6pm) posted the time period’s best total viewer and demo delivery since January 2013. “MTP Daily” was up 64% in total viewers and 169% in the demo vs. July 2015.

  • “With All Due Respect” (6-7pm) and other “Place for Politics” live coverage drew the best total viewer and demo audiences for the 6pm time period since November 2012. Year to year, the 6pm hour was up 86% in total viewers and 172% in the demo.

  • “Hardball with Chris Matthews” (7-8pm) delivered its biggest total audience since October 2013 and biggest demo audience since January 2014. Year to year, “Hardball” was up 49% in total viewers and 90% in the demo.

  • “All In with Chris Hayes” (8-9pm) was up 64% in total viewers and 113% in the demo vs. July 2015.

  • “The Rachel Maddow Show” (9-10pm) ranked #2 in total viewers, marking the 38th straight win over CNN. “The Rachel Maddow Show” was up 51% in total viewers and 92% in the demo vs. July 2015.

  • “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (10-11pm) ranked #2 in total viewers for the 14th straight month, up 55% in total viewers and 87% in the demo vs. July 2015.

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