Q1 2009 Ratings: MSNBC Tops CNN in Prime Time

By Chris Ariens 

As expected, and for the first time ever, MSNBC has defeated CNN and claimed second place in weekday prime time for the month of March in both Total Viewers and the A25-54 demo. MSNBC is up 22% in Total Viewers vs. March 2008 (1,147,000 vs. 1,117,000) and up 3% in A25-54 (375,000 vs. 365,000).

For March: “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” (#2 in the hour) is up 22% in the demo and up 30% in Total Viewers year-over-year. “The Rachel Maddow Show,” in its seventh month, again topped CNN’s “Larry King Live” in the demo, but was edged out by King in Total Viewers. “Maddow” is up 98% in Total Viewers and up 70% in the demo compared to the time slot’s prior program, “Verdict with Dan Abrams.”

And for the first time in more than 7 1/2 years, MSNBC’s morning show beat CNN’s in the demo. “Morning Joe” edged CNN’s “American Morning.” “A.M.” still wins in Total Viewers. The last time MSNBC beat CNN in the mornings was August 2001, when Imus in the Morning occupied the 6am-10amET slot.

For the quarter: in total day, MSNBC finished up 10% in the demo (180,000 vs. 163,000) and up 19% in Total Viewers (473,000 vs. 396,000).

The full MSNBC press release is after the jump…


MSNBC BEATS CNN IN PRIMETIME FOR FIRST TIME EVER

MSNBC Out-Rates CNN in March in Both Total Viewers and A25-54 For First Time in Weekday Primetime

MSNBC Also Out-Rates CNN in Sales Prime Among A25-54

MSNBC #1 News Network Among Young Viewers, Adults 18-34, in Primetime

“Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “Morning Joe” Beat CNN

NEW YORK – March 31, 2009 – For the first time ever, MSNBC beat CNN in weekday primetime for the month of March in both total viewers and Adults 25-54, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. MSNBC was also the number one cable news network among younger viewers, Adults 18-34, in primetime in March, and in the morning. In March, MSNBC also beat CNN at 8 p.m. among both total viewers and A25-54 with “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” at 9 p.m. in A25-54 with “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and 6-9 a.m. in A25-54 with “Morning Joe” for the first time since August 2001. Following are MSNBC ratings highlights for March and for 1Q:

For the first time, MSNBC beat CNN in weekday primetime (M-F, 8-11 p.m. ET) in total viewers (1,147,000 vs. 1,117,000) and among Adults 25-54 (375,000 vs. 328,000). MSNBC is up 22 percent in total viewers vs. March 2008 (1,147,000 vs. 943,000) and up 3 percent in A25-54 (375,000 vs. 365,000) while CNN is down -12 percent in the demo and flat in total viewers.

MSNBC also beat CNN in sales primetime (M-Su, 7p.m.-2 a.m. ET) among Adults 25-54 (251,000 vs. 248,000). MSNBC is up 9 percent in total viewers vs. March 2008 (683,000 vs. 629,000) while CNN is down -5 percent in total viewers.

MSNBC was the number one cable news network among younger viewers, Adults 18-34, in March, in M-F and M-Su primetime and in sales prime (7 p.m.-2 a.m. ET). MSNBC was also number one in A18-34 at 8 p.m. with “Countdown,” 9 p.m. with “The Rachel Maddow Show,” 10 p.m. with the re-broadcast of “Countdown,” and in the morning, 6-9 a.m. ET with “Morning Joe.”

“Countdown with Keith Olbermann” continues to drive MSNBC primetime, outrating “Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull” by a huge 83 percent among A25-54 (442,000 vs. 242,000) and by 59 percent in total viewers (1,340,000 vs. 844,000). “Countdown” is up 23 percent in A25-54 versus March 2008 (442,000 vs. 360,000) and up 30 percent in total viewers (1,340,000 vs. 1,029,000), while “Campbell Brown” is down -28 percent in A25-54 and down –14 percent in total viewers.

“The Rachel Maddow Show” again out-rated CNN’s “Larry King Live” among A25-54 in March (340,000 vs. 293,000), and finished within 50,000 total viewers (1,133,000 vs. 1,177,000). “The Rachel Maddow Show” was up 98 percent in total viewers compared to March 2008 (1,133,000 vs. 573,000) and up 70 percent in A25-54 (340,000 vs. 200,000).

“Morning Joe” out-rated CNN among A25-54 in the 6-9 a.m. time period, the first time since August 2001 that MSNBC has beaten CNN for the month in that slot (173,000 vs. 168,000). “Morning Joe” was up a big 82 percent in A25-54 (173,000 vs. 95,000) and up 33 percent in total viewers (431,000 vs. 324,000) versus March 2008.

At 7 p.m., “Hardball with Chris Matthews” is up 18 percent in total viewers (740,000 vs. 626,000) and up 1 percent in A25-54 (211,000 vs. 209,000) vs. March 2008, while CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” plunged 27 percent in total viewers (791,000 vs. 1,080,000) and 20 percent in A25-54 (236,000 vs. 298,000).

MSNBC finished 1Q up 29 percent in total viewers in weekday primetime (1,144,000 vs. 885,000) and up 9 percent in A25-54 (386,000 vs. 354,000). In total day, MSNBC finished 1Q up 10 percent in A25-54 (180,000 vs. 163,000) and up 19 percent in total viewers (473,000 vs. 396,000).

Advertisement
Advertisement