May 2016 Ratings: MSNBC Sees Most Growth of All News Networks

By A.J. Katz 

The sky was falling for MSNBC at this time last year. But, with the 2016 presidential race and a shift in programming strategy, the network is back in the game.

Starting bright and early with Morning Joe, continuing through dayside and into prime time, “The Place for Politics” delivered the most total day and prime time growth in cable news for the month. In total day, MSNBC was up 61 percent in total viewers and up 49 percent in the demo vs. last May. In prime time, the network shot up 78 percent in total viewers and 66 percent in the demo.

The average impressions for May 2016 (Nielsen Live+Same Day Data):

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 824,000 Total Viewers / 207,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 481,000 Total Viewers / 124,000 A25-54

Morning Joe continues to be a stand-out program. The who was up 91 percent in the demo, and up 63 percent in total viewers. It topped CNN’s New Day in both total viewers and the demo, marking its 15th straight monthly win among viewers.

The network’s most watched show, The Rachel Maddow Show, topped CNN’s 9pm hour in both total viewers and the demo. This marks a 36-month streak among viewers. Hardball and The Last Word also top their CNN competition among total viewers. The network’s 5pm show, MTP Daily with Chuck Todd, improved the timeslot 98 percent in the demo and 31 percent among total viewers.

MSNBC trailed CNN by just 67,000 total viewers and 81,000 demo viewers in prime time last month.