July 2019 Ratings: MSNBC Sees Decline Among Adults 25-54, Yet Remains One of Cable’s Most-Watched Networks

By A.J. Katz Comment

MSNBC continues to deliver huge total audiences across multiple dayparts. The network marked its 29th consecutive month of averaging more viewers across total day than CNN, and averaged more A25-54 viewers than CNN during prime time for the sixth consecutive month.

All in all, MSNBC was the second-most-watched network on all of basic cable during July, both in prime time and total day.

While those accomplishments are indeed worth bragging about, MSNBC, which leans left at night, appears to be losing steam right now among adults 25-54.

In fact, the network had its lowest-rated month among adults 25-54 since Trump took office. The network was -28% in prime time and -32% in the total day demo vs. what the network averaged in July 2018. It also finished behind CNN in the total day demo.

Among total viewers–despite finishing in second place across the entire landscape, MSNBC was -10% in prime time and -7% in total day vs. July 2018.

The average Nielsen live + same day impressions for July 2019:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun):  1,503,000 Total Viewers / 222,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 852,000 Total Viewers /  125,000 A25-54

Even Rachel Maddow lost some traction, finishing No. 5 this past month across cable news, behind The Five and The Ingraham Angle, in addition to Hannity and Tucker Carlson.

Still, MSNBC’s signature show at 9 p.m. more than doubled CNN’s total viewership. TRMS bested CNN for the 74th straight month in total viewers and in A24-54 for the 30th straight month.

Every weekday MSNBC program from 5 a.m. – 3 a.m. topped CNN in total viewers, including Morning Joe, Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace, The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, Hardball with Chris Matthews, All In with Chris Hayes and The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.

Here’s MSNBC’s release:

MSNBC BEATS CNN FOR 29TH STRAIGHT MONTH IN TOTAL VIEWERS

MSNBC Total Day (M-Su 6am-6am) Ranks #2 Across All Cable Networks for 7th Month in a Row in July

Emmy Award-Nominated MSNBC Dayside (M-F 9am-5pm) Also Tops CNN for 22nd Straight Month and Prime (M-Su 8-11pm) Bests CNN for 30th Straight Month in Total Viewers

“Morning Joe” Beats CNN for 53rd Month in a Row Among Total Viewers and for the 21st Month in a Row in A25-54

“Deadline: White House” Dominates CNN for 22nd Month in Total Viewers and 5th Month in A25-54

“The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” Beats CNN in Total Viewers and A25-54 for 8th Straight Month

“Hardball with Chris Matthews,” “All In with Chris Hayes,” “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” Lead CNN in Total Viewers and A25-54

MSNBC Sweeps CNN in Total Viewers for Every Weekday Program from 5am to 3am

MSNBC Weekend Total Day (Sa-Su 6am-6am) Tops CNN for 6th Consecutive Month in Total Viewers and During “AM Joy,” “Kasie DC,” “Saturday Night Politics” and “UP with David Gura”

NEW YORK (July 30, 2019) – MSNBC continued its lead over CNN for the 29th straight month, beating CNN in total viewers during total day (M-Su 6am-6am), according to Nielsen for the month of July. MSNBC total day was the #2 network across all of cable for the 7th straight month (ahead of #6 CNN and #9 ESPN).

MSNBC, which is nominated for five News and Documentary Emmy® Awards including during dayside, was overall the #2-ranked network across all of cable in dayside (ahead of #4 CNN and #7 ESPN) and prime (ahead of #14 CNN and #11 ESPN). MSNBC dayside (M-F 9am-5pm) beat CNN in total viewers for the 22nd straight month with an average 934,000 total viewers (vs. CNN’s 650,000). MSNBC prime (M-Su 8-11pm) beat CNN in total viewers for the 30th straight month with an average 1.5M total viewers (vs. CNN’s 797,000). In A25-54, prime beat CNN for the 6th month in a row with an average 222,000 viewers (vs. CNN’s 201,000).

“Morning Joe” at 6am beat CNN in A25-54 for the 21st straight month and in total viewers for the 53rd straight month. In total viewers “Morning Joe” more than doubled CNN’s viewership (968,000 vs. CNN’s 427,000) and beat CNN in A25-54 (148,000 vs. CNN’s 97,000).

“Deadline: White House” at 4pm beat CNN for the last 22 months in total viewers. “Deadline” averaged 1.4M total viewers (vs. CNN’s 731,000).

“The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” topped CNN in total viewers for the 36th month in a row. “The 11th Hour” averaged 1.4M total viewers (vs. CNN’s 642,000).

“The Beat with Ari Melber” at 6pm tied CNN in A25-54. “The Beat” came in on top of CNN in total viewers for the 25th month in a row averaging 1.3M total viewers (vs. CNN’s 737,000).

“Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 7pm topped CNN in A25-54 and beat CNN in total viewers for the 36th month in a row. “Hardball” averaged 1.3M total viewers (vs. CNN’s 722,000) and 184,000 viewers A25-54 (vs. CNN’s 178,000).

“All In with Chris Hayes” at 8pm topped CNN in A25-54 for the 5th consecutive month and in total viewers for the 32nd consecutive month. “All In” averaged 1.5M total viewers (vs. CNN’s 883,000) and 228,000 viewers A25-54 (vs. CNN’s 207,000).

“The Rachel Maddow Show” at 9pm more than doubled CNN’s total viewership. “Maddow” bested CNN for the 74th straight month in total viewers and in A24-54 for the 30th straight month. “Maddow” averaged 2.5M total viewers (vs. CNN’s 954,000) and 384,000 viewers A25-54 (vs. CNN’s 228,000).

Every weekday MSNBC program from 5am-3am topped CNN in total viewers, including: “Morning Joe First Look” at 5am for the 21st straight month; “MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle” at 9am for the 30th straight month; “MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson” at 10am for the 22nd straight month; “MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin” at 11am for the 22nd straight month; “Andrea Mitchell Reports” at 12pm for the 25th straight month; “MSNBC Live with Velshi & Ruhle” at 1pm for the 21st straight month; “MSNBC Live with Katy Tur” at 2pm for the 9th straight month; “MSNBC Live with Ali Velshi” at 3pm for 20 out of the last 21 months; “MTP Daily” at 5pm for the 27th straight month; “The Beat with Ari Melber” at 6pm for the 25th straight month; and “Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 7pm for the 35th month in the last 36 months.

On weekends, MSNBC (Sa-Su 6am-6am) beat CNN in total viewers for the 6th month in a row. In total viewers, “AM Joy” at 10am beat CNN for the 22nd straight month on Saturdays and 8th straight month on Sundays. On Saturdays, “UP with David Gura” at 8am beat CNN for the 4th of the last 5 months in total viewers and was the only cable news program to grow over July 2018 (+4% vs. FOX News’ -3% and CNN’s -18%). “Kasie DC” on Sundays at 7pm topped CNN for the 16th month in a row in total viewers. Additionally, “Saturday Night Politics with Donny Deutsch” from premiere to-date beat CNN in total viewers during the 8pm period.

MSNBC’s five News and Documentary Emmy® Award nominations include “On Assignment with Richard Engel”; “Everyday Racism in America,” a town hall event co-hosted by Chris Hayes and Joy Reid; “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Andrea Mitchell’s interview with Dan Coats during MSNBC dayside; and the MSNBC dayside coverage on separated families.

NOTE: July 2019 ratings are based on Nielsen Live+Same data day for 6/30/19-7/28/19. Unless specified, individual show data represents regular programming only, excluding specials and breaking news.

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