The controversy swirling around Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian attorney gave MSNBC a year-over-year ratings boost this past week, particularly on weekdays in prime time.
MSNBC’s weeknight coverage of the saga seemed to resonate quite strongly with adults 25-54, as the network defeated rivals Fox News and CNN in the demo during the Monday – Friday prime time daypart (500,000 vs. 449,000 vs. 313,000).
Hardball with Chris Matthews (7 p.m.), Rachel Maddow (9 p.m.) and The 11th Hour with Brian Williams (11 p.m.) won their respective hours in the A25-54 demo. The 11th Hour was also the No. 1 cable news show of the week in the 11 p.m. hour, per Nielsen data.
Maddow, the heart and soul of the network’s lineup (at least ratings-wise), had the No. 1 cable news program for the week, not just among the ad-friendly A25-54 demographic (626,000) but also in total viewers (2.74 million). Maddow also had the No. 1 basic cable show in total viewers on Friday, July 14, and the 5th-most-watched show across all of television in the A25-54 demo that night.
Total viewers (000) among cable shows – Friday 7/14
|1||RACHEL MADDOW SHOW||MSNBC||09:00 PM||2518|
|2||TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT||FOXNC||08:00 PM||2100|
|4||FIVE, THE||FOXNC||09:00 PM||1812|
|5||LIVE PD||AEN||09:00 PM||1663|
|6||ALL IN W/ CHRIS HAYES||MSNBC||08:00 PM||1621|
|7||STORY, THE||FOXNC||07:00 PM||1460|
|8||HOUSE HUNTERS||HGTV||10:00 PM||1400|
|9||BEACHFRONT BARGAIN HUNT||HGTV||09:30 PM||1398|
|10||R ENGEL ON ASSIGNMT||MSNBC||10:00 PM||1391|
Fox News, on the other hand, continued to reign supreme in the total viewers category. The network also won the prime time demo for the full Nielsen calendar week (Mon, July 10 through Sun, July 16) by just 1,000 A25-54 viewers (389 vs. 388,000).
Basic Cable Ranker: Week of July 10, 2017 (Adults 25-54)
FNC finished as the No. 1 basic cable network in total day viewers for the 28th consecutive week. CNN finished No. 10 in total day viewers.
Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day
- Fox News (1,231,000)
- Nickelodeon (1,222,000)
- MSNBC (932,000)
- HGTV (809,000)
- Adult Swim (764,000)
Fox News was also the No. 1 basic cable network in total prime time viewers for the 8th straight week. CNN finished No. 12 in total prime time viewers.
Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime time
- Fox News (2,056,000)
- MSNBC (1,726,000)
- ESPN (1,640,000)
- HGTV (1,467,000)
- USA (1,428,000)
Despite the aforementioned drama surrounding the president’s son, Fox News and CNN posted double digit year-over-year declines in total viewers.
Fox News was -26 percent in prime time viewers, and -23 percent in total day viewers from last year. CNN was -24 percent in prime time viewers and -19 percent in total day viewers.
The comparable week last year (July 11, 2016) included continuous breaking news coverage of the attack in Nice, along with then-presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump‘s decision on his running mate then-Gov. Mike Pence.