October 2011 Ratings: MSNBC Down Double Digits in Primetime

By Merrill Knox 

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MSNBC was down across the board this month. Compared to October 2010, the network is down in  -2% in total viewers and -10% in A25-54 viewers for total day; in primetime, the network is down -13% in total viewers and -22% in A25-54 viewers.

Despite the losses, MSNBC beat CNN in total day demographic viewers and in primetime total viewers.

The ratings for October, 2011:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 693K Total Viewers / 193K A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 402K Total Viewers / 129K A25-54

Although “Morning Joe” was down -2% in total viewers year-over-year, the MSNBC morning show remains in the #2 spot, posting an +8% gain in the demographic. “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” which airs at 1 pmET, is another strong point for MSNBC, posting a +20% increase total viewers and a +16% increase in A25-54 viewers. In primetime, “Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 5pmET is up +22% in total viewers and +6% in the demo.

With the exception of “Hardball,” every primetime program on MSNBC is down double digits compared to October 2010. The 8pmET hour, which until October 21 was home to “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” suffered the biggest losses, down -24% in total viewers and -36% in the demographic compared to last year. (In October 2010, the 8pm hour belonged to “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”) “The Rachel Maddow Show” was also down -13% in total viewers and -21% in the demographic.

MSNBC’s release is below.


MSNBC Dominates CNN By 60% in First Week of New Primetime Schedule

MSNBC is #1 Among Younger Viewers A18-34

NEW YORK – November 1, 2011 – MSNBC continues to top CNN in primetime among total viewers (808,000 vs. 723,000), according to data from Nielsen Media Research. MSNBC also ranked No. 1 for the month among A18-34 in total day (Monday – Sunday 6a -6a). During the first week of MSNBC’s new primetime schedule (Oct. 24-28), the network dominated CNN with a 60% lead among total viewers and also topped CNN among A25-54 and A18-49. 

Following are MSNBC ratings highlights for October:

• “Morning Joe” continues as the No. 2 cable morning news program topping CNN’s “American Morning” by 55% among total viewers (390,000 vs. 252,000) and by 34% among A25-54 (141,000 vs. 105,000). This is the 7th consecutive month “Morning Joe” has topped CNN among total viewers and the 7th straight month among A25-54. In addition, “Way Too Early with Willie Geist” (5:30-6a) was No. 2 among A25-54 (88,000 vs. 66,000 for) and total viewers (183,000 vs. 143,000) for the month and ranked No. 1 among A18-34.

• Compared to October 2010, MSNBC Daytime (Monday-Friday 9a-5p) increased 23% among total viewers (344,000 vs 280,000) and 5% among A25-54 (85,000 vs 81,000).

• At 6 p.m., “PoliticsNation” hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton beat CNN’s “John King USA” by 38% among total viewers (655,000 vs. 475,000) and by 19% in the demo of A25-54 (145,000 vs. 122,000).

• “Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 7 p.m. beat CNN among total viewers (769,000 vs. 490,000) for the 7th straight month and in A25-54 (176,000 vs. 146,000) for the 5th consecutive month.

• The combination of “The Last Word” and “The Ed Show” at 8 p.m. topped CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” by 54% among total viewers (843,000 vs. 546,000), making October the 44th consecutive month MSNBC has topped CNN in the hour. In its debut week at 8 p.m., “The Ed Show” beat “Anderson Cooper 360” by 7% among 25-54 (188,000 vs. 176,000).

• “The Rachel Maddow Show” beat CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” for the month of October among all key demos, marking the 21st consecutive monthly win over CNN in total viewers. Maddow beat CNN by 45% in total viewers (855,000 vs. 589,000) and 22% among A25-54 (214,000 vs. 176,000).

• “The Ed Show” and “The Last Word” at 10 p.m. ranked No. 2 among total viewers, beating CNN by 24% (815,000 vs. 657,000). In the premiere week of “The Last Word” at 10p, MSNBC topped CNN by 19% among A25-54 (232,000 vs. 195,000).

• MSNBC is No. 1 among African American viewers (P2+) for the 21st consecutive month in primetime.

• MSNBC Longform ranks No. 1 in Weekend Sales Prime (Satuday and Sunday 7p-2a) among adults 25-54. Among younger viewers A18-34, Longform ranks No. 1 for the 36th consecutive month.