Q2 2010 Ratings: MSNBC Down From Last Year, Tops CNN in Primetime

By Alex Weprin 

MSNBC was down in Q2 2010 compared to the same period last year, but its declines were less serious than some of its competition. The network also beat CNN in every hour of primetime during the quarter.

Total Day (Mon-Sun): 396k total/136k A25-54
Prime (Mon-Sun): 765k total/240k A25-54

In Primetime, MSNBC was down -4% in total viewers and -11% in the demo compared to last year. In total day MSNBC was up +1% in total viewers and down -4% in the demo. Particularly hard hit was the network’s 8 p.m. program “Countdown,” which was down -9% in total viewers and -25% in the demo (1.07M/266k), although its counter-programming on CNN and HLN fared even worse. 9 p.m.’s “Rachel Maddow” was up+2% in total viewers and down only -9% in the demo (1.006M/257k).

Two MSNBC programs saw growth in both total viewers and the demo, both in the afternoons. 4p.m.’s “Dylan ratigan” was up 7% in total viewers and 6% in the demo (327k/88k), while 6 p.m.’s “The Ed Show” was up 23% and 17% respectively (639k/155k).

In the morning, “Morning Joe” finished second in total viewers behind “Fox & Friends,” but fourth in the 25-54 demo behind FNC, CNN and HLN (403k/117k).

The MSNBC press release is after the jump.

MSNBC Beats CNN Every Hour of Primetime for 2Q and First Half of Year

NEW YORK – June 29, 2010 – MSNBC beat CNN in primetime in the first half of 2010, finishing well ahead of the formerly dominant news network among both total viewers and in the key adult demographic, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. MSNBC also beat CNN in primetime for second quarter of 2010.

“Morning Joe” beat CNN for the second consecutive quarter in total viewers, and is pacing to beat CNN for the year for the first time since 2000 in that time period. MSNBC bested CNN at 6, 7, 8 and 9 pm in total viewers, and at 7, 8, 9 and 10 pm among Adults 25-54.

CNN’s “Larry King Live” and “Campbell Brown” had their worst quarters ever among both Adults 25-54 and total viewers. This was CNN’s worst performance in primetime in nine years, since 2Q 2001.

Following are ratings highlights for MSNBC for 2Q 2010:

* MSNBC finished 2Q 2010 in primetime (M-Su, 8-11 pm) with a 36% advantage over CNN among A25-54 (237,000 vs. 174,000) and a 28% lead in total viewers (758,000 vs. 594,000). Year to date, MSNBC is on track to beat CNN for the second year in a row among A25-54 (253,000 vs. 187,000) and for the first time ever among total viewers (781,000 vs. 642,000).
* “Morning Joe” finished 2Q 2010 ahead of CNN among total viewers for the second consecutive quarter (402,000 vs. 335,000). Year to date, “Morning Joe” is on pace to finish ahead of CNN for the year for the first time in the time period since 2000.
* “The Ed Show” beat CNN’s “The Situation Room” among total viewers for the first time ever for the quarter (634,000 vs. 526,000). This is “The Ed Show’s” best performance ever among total viewers.
* “Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 7 p.m. beat CNN’s “John King USA” among A25-54 (173,000 vs. 142,000) and total viewers (654,000 vs. 450,000), in King’s first full quarter on CNN. This is the fourth consecutive quarterly win for “Hardball” over CNN at 7 p.m. among A25-54.
* “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” beat CNN at 8 p.m. for the 15th consecutive quarter among A25-54 (263,000 vs. 138,000) and for the ninth consecutive time in total viewers (1,059,000 vs. 477,000). This was “Campbell Brown’s” worst quarter ever among both A25-54 and total viewers. Additionally, the encore of “Countdown” at 10 p.m. ET beat a live edition of “Anderson Cooper 360” in A25-54, finishing ahead of CNN in that hour for the first time since 2Q 2001.
* “The Rachel Maddow Show” beat CNN’s “Larry King Live” in 2Q 2010, the third consecutive victory among both A25-54 (255,000 vs. 176,000) and total viewers (995,000 vs. 674,000).
* “The Dylan Ratigan Show” finished 2Q 2010 as the only cable news show in the hour to grow year over year, up six percent in A25-54 (88,000 vs. 83,000) and seven percent in total viewers (327,000 vs. 306,000), while CNN plunged 22 percent in A25-54 and 40 percent in total viewers.
* On the weekends, MSNBC’s Longform programming is number one in primetime in the 25-54 demographic for both 2Q and year-to-date. For 2010-to-date, MSNBC averaged 278,000 viewers 25-54, while CNN had 160,000 and Fox had 238,000. For 2Q 2010, MSNBC had 226,000 viewers in the demo, CNN averaged 157,000 and Fox had 198,000.