May 2012 Ratings: MSNBC Down Double Digits

By Merrill Knox 

MSNBC continued its run as the #2 cable news network in May, second to Fox News in both Total Day and primetime. Like the other cable news networks MSNBC experienced declines in May — down double digits across the board.

The ratings for May, 2012:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 674,000 Total Viewers / 216,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 385,000 Total Viewers / 124,000 A25-54

In Total Day, MSNBC was down -19% in Total Viewers and down -26% in the A25-54 demo compared to May 2011. Ratings were similarly low in primetime, with the network seeing losses of -19% in Total Viewers and -21% in younger viewers.

One bright spot for MSNBC was its weekend opinion shows “Up with Chris Hayes” and “Melissa Harris-Perry,” both of which have premiered in the past year. On Saturdays in May, “Up” grew +13% in Total Viewers and “Melissa Harris-Perry” grew +8% in Total Viewers compared to May 2011. On Sundays, “Up” was up +15% and “Melissa Harris Perry” was up +9% in Total Viewers.

Read MSNBC’s release after the jump.

MSNBC Weekday Primetime Beats CNN By 98% in Total Viewers and 78% in the Demo for the Month
MSNBC Ranks #1 Among Adults 18-34 in Primetime for May

CNN Has Lowest Primetime Performance Since May 2000 and Hits All -Time Lows at 7p and 9p

NEW YORK –May 30, 2012 – MSNBC dominated CNN during the month of May topping the network in all major ratings categories according to data from Nielsen. During the month which marked all-time lows for CNN at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. (since at least 1991) and the lowest M-F primetime performance since May 2000, MSNBC topped CNN by 98% among total viewers and by 78% among A25-54 (223,000 vs. 125,000) in weekday primetime.
MSNBC beat CNN in M-Su Primetime, with an 89% advantage over CNN in A25-54 (216,000 vs. 114, 000) and a 73% lead among total viewers (674,000 vs. 389,000). This marks MSNBC’s largest monthly percentage advantage in M-Su Primetime over CNN ever.
MSNBC surpassed CNN in total day (M-Su 6a-6a) by 48% among A25-54 (124,000 vs. 84,000) and 34% in total viewers (385,000 vs. 288,000).
MSNBC also beat the cable news competition among the younger demo in primetime, ranking #1 for the month among A18-34.
Following are MSNBC’s morning and primetime ratings highlights for April 2012:

* At 5:30 a.m. “Way Too Early” was #2 beating CNN in total viewers (165,000 vs.138,000) and A25-54 (72,000 vs. 66,000).

* “Morning Joe” ranked #2, topping CNN in total viewers for the 14th straight month and in A25-54 for the 10th consecutive month. “Morning Joe” beat CNN by 86% in A25-54 (133,000 vs. 71,000) and 99% among total viewers (378,000 vs. 190,000). CNN had the lowest A25-54 and total viewer delivery in the time period since September 2000.
* “Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 5 p.m. ranked #2 in total viewers (659,000 vs. 431,000) and A25-54 (115,000 vs. 90,000) for the eighth consecutive month. CNN had its lowest program delivery in more than a decade – among A25-54 since July 2001 and in total viewers since June 2001.
* “PoliticsNation” with Al Sharpton at 6 p.m. ranked #2, topping CNN by 66% among A25-54 (131,000 vs. 79,000) and by 94% among total viewers (655,000 vs. 338,000). May marked CNN’s lowest A25-54 time period delivery ever and the lowest total viewer delivery in the time period since August 2001.
* At 7 p.m. “Hardball with Chris Matthews” ranked #2 for the 10th straight month, beating CNN’s “Erin Burnett Outfront” by 69% in A25-54 (147,000 vs. 87,000) and by 126% among total viewers (693,000 vs. 307,000). May 2012 was an all-time low in both A25-54 and total viewers for CNN at 7 p.m. (since at least 1991, as far back as CNN data is available).
* “The Ed Show” at 8 p.m. ranked #2 topping CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” by 47% in A25-54 (171,000 vs. 116,000) and 101% in total viewers (779,000 vs. 388,000) for the month. This is the 51th straight month MSNBC has beaten CNN at 8 p.m. in total viewers. CNN had its lowest delivery in both A25-54 and total viewers since September 2000.
* “The Rachel Maddow Show” at 9 p.m. had a 133% advantage over CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” among A25-54 (273,000 vs. 117,000) and a 116% lead among total viewers (901,000 vs. 417,000). “The Rachel Maddow Show” has now topped CNN for 28 straight months among total viewers and 14 consecutive months in A25-54. “Maddow” was also ranked #1 among A18-34. CNN hit all-time lows among both A25-54 and total viewers at 9 p.m. this month. (lowest since at least 1991, as far back as CNN data is available).
* “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” ranked #2 at 10 p.m. with a 63% advantage over “Anderson Cooper 360” in A25-54 (240,000 vs. 147,000) and 89% among total viewers (792,000 vs. 420,000). “The Last Word” was also #1 among the younger demo A18-34, up 23% compared to May 2011 and the only growth posted by a cable news program in the hour. CNN marked their lowest performance at 10 p.m. among A25-54 since December 2002 and among total viewers since May 2001.
* MSNBC is #1 in delivering African American total viewers among cable news channels for the 28th consecutive month in M-Su Primetime.
MSNBC’s daytime and weekend program highlights include:
* “The Daily Rundown” with Chuck Todd at 9 a.m. topped CNN to rank #2 for the seventh consecutive month in total viewers. Among A18-34, “The Daily Rundown” is up 33% compared for May 2011, more growth than any other cable news program in the hour.
* At 10 a.m., “Jansing & Co.” was up 39% in the younger demo of A18-34 compared to May 2011– the only growth posted by a cable news program in the hour.
* At 11 a.m. “MSNBC Live” with Thomas Roberts was up 26%with A18-34 over May 2011, the only growth posted by a cable news program in the hour.
* “NOW with Alex Wagner” at noon was up 9% among A18-34, the only growth posted by a cable news program in the hour.
* “Andrea Mitchell Reports” at 1 p.m. ranked #2 in A18-34
* “NewsNation” with Tamron Hall ranked #2 with total viewers in the hour topping CNN by 4% (342 vs. 329).
* At 3 p.m. “Martin Bashir” ranked #2 with among A25-54, and with total viewers for the third consecutive month. “Martin Bashir” grew 10% in total viewers, the only growth posted by a cable news program in the hour.
* At 4 p.m. “Dylan Ratigan Show” ranked #2 in A18-34
* On Saturdays in May, “Weekends with Alex Witt” at 7 a.m. ranked #2 with A25-54, topping CNN by 32% among A25-54 (108,000 vs. 82,000) and was #2 among A18-34. “Up with Chris Hayes” Sat 8a-10a beat CNN by 13% among A25-54 (126,000 vs. 112,000) and grew 13% among total viewers compared to May 2011. “ “Melissa Harris-Perry” Sat 10a-12n grew 8% in total viewers compared to May 2011.
* On Sundays in April, “Up with Chris Hayes” 8a-10a increased 15% in total viewers from May 2011, posting the only cable news growth in the time period. ”Up with Chris Hayes” ranked #1 with A18-34. “Melissa Harris-Perry” 10a-12n increased 9% in total viewers from May 2011, more growth in the time period than all other cable news programs combined. “Melissa Harris-Perry” ranked #1 with A18-34. “Weekends with Alex Witt” 12n-2p ranked #1 with the younger demo of A18-34.
* MSNBC ranks #1 in both A25-54 and the younger demo of A18-34 in weekend sales prime (Sa/Su 7p-2a). With A18-34, this is the 43rd consecutive month that MSNBC has ranked #1 in Weekend Sales Prime.