November 2017 Ratings: MSNBC Is Only Network To Deliver Audience Growth

By A.J. Katz Comment

MSNBC managed to accomplish a feat this past month that its rivals could not: It delivered audience growth from a presidential election month.

In November 2017, MSNBC, which skews progressive and is anti-Trump in prime time, was +26 percent in total prime time viewers, and +4 percent in the prime time demo. It was also +28 percent in total day viewers, and +7 percent in the total day demo versus its November 2016 ratings averages.

The network finished ahead of CNN in prime time across all relevant measurements, including total viewers and in the key A25-54 demographic.

The network was, once again, led by Rachel Maddow. The top progressive voice on cable news posted-year-over-year audience growth, and defeated timeslot rival Sean Hannity in the advertiser-friendly A25-54 demographic (if one includes 9 p.m. specials into the equation).

If one excludes specials from the equation, Maddow is edged by Hannity in the demo.

CNN may have defeated MSNBC in the demo during daytime hours, but the latter got the best of the former in total audience. For the second straight month, MSNBC dayside (M-F, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) defeated CNN in total viewers. It was the No. 3 basic cable network in the dayside daypart in total viewers, only behind Nickelodeon and Fox News.

The 11th Hour With Brian Williams stood out. For the seventh consecutive month, it was the No. 1 cable news program in its timeslot in total viewers. Williams also defeated CNN Tonight With Don Lemon and 11 p.m. newcomer Fox News @ Night anchored by Shannon Bream in all key measurements, including total viewers and that important A25-54 demo.

And then there was Morning Joe. Not only did Joe & Mika finish ahead of New Day, but they delivered the most-watched month ever for the network in the 6 – 9 a.m. time period, averaging 1.1 million total viewers.

The numbers for November, 2017 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun):  1,687 total viewers / 371,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun):  942,000 total viewers / 209,000 A25-54

Here’s MSNBC’s November 2017 ratings release:

 “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” IS #1 IN A25-54 ACROSS CABLE NEWS IN NOVEMBER
MSNBC Weekday Prime Tops CNN in Total Viewers and A25-54, Finishes #3 Overall Among All Cable Networks in Total Viewers
MSNBC Dayside Again Beats CNN in Total Viewers
“The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” Continues to Be #1 at 11pm in A25-54 and Total Viewers
“Morning Joe” Bests CNN in Total Viewers and A25-54, Delivers Highest Rated Month Ever for MSNBC in the Time Period
More Viewers Turn to MSNBC Than CNN in Total Day for 9th Straight Month
MSNBC Posts Total Viewer Victory Over CNN at 6am, 7am, 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, 11pm, 12am, 1am and Saturdays at 10am
NEW YORK (November 29, 2017) – “The Rachel Maddow Show” reclaimed the #1 title in the coveted A25-54 demographic across all of cable news as well as for the 9pm time period (including all specials) for the month of November, according to Nielsen. “The Rachel Maddow Show” averaged 2.8 million total viewers (vs. CNN’s 1 million), 634,000 viewers A25-54 (vs. CNN’s 372,000 and FOX News’ 615,000) and 443,000 viewers A18-49 (vs. CNN’s 284,000 and FOX News’ 382,000). Compared to a year ago during the critical election month of November 2016, “Maddow” was the only cable news show in the time period to post growth in total viewers (+57% vs. CNN’s -24% and FOX News’ -9%) and in A25-54 (+48% vs. CNN’s -25% and FOX News’ -18%). “Maddow” also finished the month as the #1 show in the hour among A18-49.
MSNBC weekday prime (M-F 8-11pm) topped CNN in total viewers for the 12th straight month and in A25-54 for the 2nd straight month. Among all cable networks, MSNBC prime finished #3 in total viewers (behind ESPN and FOX News) and #5 in A25-54 (behind ESPN, USA, TBS and FOX News). MSNBC averaged 2.1 million total viewers – leading CNN by more than 1 million viewers – and 466,000 viewers A25-54 (vs. CNN’s 937,000 total viewers and 334,000 viewers A25-54). MSNBC was the only cable news network to post gains while both FOX News and CNN were down double digits compared to a year ago. MSNBC was up +30% in total viewers (vs. CNN’s -49% and FOX News’ -31%) and +6% in A25-54 (vs. CNN’s -55% and FOX News’ -45%) compared to November 2016.
For the 2nd consecutive month, MSNBC dayside (M-F 9am-5pm) bested CNN among total viewers. Among all cable networks, dayside finished #2 in total viewers (behind FOX News and ahead of Nickelodeon). Dayside averaged 965,000 total viewers (vs. CNN’s 831,000) and 193,000 viewers A25-54. MSNBC posted more growth than CNN and FOX News in total viewers (+36% vs. CNN’s -21% and FOX News’ +24%). In A25-54, MSNBC was the only cable news network to grow (+19% vs. CNN’s -20% and FOX News’ -29%).
“The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” was #1 in total viewers for the 7th straight month and in A25-54. It also finished 1st in A18-49. “The 11th Hour” averaged 1,540,000 total viewers (vs. CNN’s 730,000 and FOX News’ 1,476,000), 351,000 viewers A25-54 (vs. CNN’s 275,000 and FOX News’ 345,000) and 244,000 viewers A18-49. “The 11th Hour” was the only cable news program at 11pm to post growth while FOX News and CNN delivered double-digit declines in total viewers (+42% vs. CNN’s -32% and FOX News’ -24%), A25-54 (+26% vs. CNN’s -31% and FOX News’ -37%) and A18-49 (+20% vs. CNN’s -37% and FOX News’ -44%) over November 2016.
“Morning Joe” at 6am topped CNN in total viewers for the 33rd consecutive month, delivering the highest rated month ever in the time period during MSNBC’s 21-year history. “Morning Joe” also beat CNN in A25-54. “Morning Joe” was the only cable news show to grow while both CNN and FOX News were down in total viewers (+36% vs. CNN’s -8% and FOX News’ -12%) and in A25-54 (+22% vs. CNN’s -3% and FOX News’ -16%) over November 2016. “Morning Joe” averaged 1.1 million total viewers and 252,000 viewers A25-54 (vs CNN’s 657,000 total viewers and 243,000 viewers A25-54). Among all cable networks, “Morning Joe” finished #2 in total viewers (behind FOX News and ahead of Nickelodeon) and #3 in A25-54 (behind FOX News and ID).
More people watched MSNBC than CNN during total day (M-Su 6am-6am) for the 9th straight month. MSNBC was the only cable news network to post growth in total viewers (+28% vs. CNN’s -31% and FOX News’ -27%) and in A25-54 (+7% vs. CNN’s -34% and FOX News’ -36%) over November 2016. MSNBC total day averaged 942,000 total viewers and 209,000 viewers A25-54.
MSNBC beat CNN in total viewers for 17 out of 20 hours during weekdays (between 6am and 2am). The following programs not only delivered MSNBC’s best ratings ever for the time period but also beat CNN in total viewers: “MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle” at 9am (for the 10th straight month); “MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson” at 10am (for the 2nd straight month); “MSNBC Live with Velshi and Ruhle” at 11am (for the 2nd straight month); “Deadline: White House” at 4pm (for the 2nd straight month); “The Beat with Ari Melber” at 6pm (for the 5th straight month); “Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 7pm (for the 16th straight month); “All In with Chris Hayes” at 8pm (for the 12th straight month and best delivery in the hour since November 2008). Additionally, four shows surpassed CNN in total viewers: “Andrea Mitchell Reports” at 12pm (for the 5th straight month), “MTP Daily” at 5pm (for the 7th straight month), “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” at 10pm (for the 30th straight month) and the Saturday editions of “AM Joy” at 10am (for the 2nd straight month).
The following MSNBC programs also beat CNN in A25-54: “Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 7pm, “All In with Chris Hayes” at 8pm, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” at 10pm (for the 2nd straight month) and the Saturday editions of “AM Joy” at 10am.
NOTE: November 2017 ratings are based on Nielsen Live+Same data day for 10/30/17-11/26/17. Individual show data represents regular programming only, excluding specials and breaking news.
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