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2012 Ratings: Election Powers MSNBC To Record Ratings

2012 was a banner year for MSNBC, with the network seeing by far the most growth of all the cable news channels. The network placed second in both total and demo viewers in both primetime and total day.

The ratings for 2012:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 905,000 total viewers / 287,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 497,000 total viewers / 166,000 A25-54

MSNBC’s programming was up double digits across the board in both total and demo viewers in 2012, spanning the mornings, daytime and primetime. At 9 PM Rachel Maddow was up +36% in total viewers and +21% in the demo compared to 2011, while 10 PM’s “The Last Word” was up +21% and +19%, respectively. The weakest performer was 8 PM’s “The Ed Show,” which was still up +9% in total and demo viewers from 2011.

MSNBC’s dayside programming was also up big from 2011. At 12 PM “Now with Alex Wagner” was up +30% in total viewers and +29% in the demo, while the 3 PM hour, which featured both Martin Bashir and “The Cycle,” was up +39% in total viewers and +23% in the demo.

In the mornings, “Morning Joe” was up +2% in total viewers, and up +10% in the demo, delivering its best total viewership ever.

MSNBC’s release is after the jump.

MSNBC TOPS CNN IN PRIMETIME FOR THE FOURTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR – 2012 RATINGS

MSNBC TOPS CNN IN PRIMETIME FOR THE FOURTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR – 2012 RATINGS

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, Weekday Primetime, Dayside, Sales Day Have Best Total Viewer Delivery Ever

“The Rachel Maddow Show” and “The Last Word” rank #1 in A18-34 for the year

CNN Hits Several All-Time Lows, Fox News Channel Has Worst M-Sun Primetime Performance in Five Years
NEW YORK – January 3, 2013 – MSNBC is ringing in the New Year on a high note, topping CNN in primetime among A25-54 for the fourth consecutive year and among total viewers for the third straight year. MSNBC saw significant growth in 2012, up more than any other cable news network. Among total viewers, “Morning Joe,” “Hardball,” “PoliticsNation,” “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “The Last Word” all had their best year ever in 2012 with several hitting time-period highs for MSNBC. Among adults 25-54, “Morning Joe,” “PoliticsNation,” “The Ed Show,” “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “The Last Word” all had their best years ever in 2012.

In weekday primetime (M-F 8-11 p.m.), MSNBC ranked #2 for the year, topping CNN in both total viewers (1.11 million vs. 744,000) and A25-54 (321,000 vs. 249,000). This is MSNBC’s best weekday primetime total viewer performance ever and the best A25-54 yearly delivery since 2008. MSNBC has now topped CNN among A25-54 in weekday primetime for four consecutive years. Among the cable news nets, MSNBC showed the most growth in weekday prime, up 29% in A25-54 and up 22% in total viewers compared to 2011. For A25-54, CNN was up 6% and FNC was flat. Among total viewers, CNN was up 2%, while FNC was up 10%.

In Monday-Sunday primetime (M-Su 8-11 p.m.) for the year, MSNBC ranked #2 among total viewers (911,000 vs. 677,0000) and A25-54 (289,000 vs. 222,000). This was MSNBC’s best performance M-Su Primetime performance since 2008, up 19% in A25-54 and 17% in total viewers over 2011. Fox News Channel had their worst M-Su primetime performance among A25-54 (423,000) since 2007.

MSNBC ranked #2 in Sales Day (M-Su 6a-2a) and had the network’s best total viewer delivery ever with 548,000 viewers and the best A25-54 (174,000) performance since 2008. MSNBC is up 16% in total viewers and 13% among A25-54 compared to 2011. Both CNN and FNC were down in A25-54 – CNN was -16% and FNC was -1%. In total viewers, CNN was down 13%, while FNC was a up 7%.

The following are additional MSNBC ratings highlights for 2012:

“Morning Joe” (6- 9 a.m,) ranked #2 for the year topping CNN in both total viewers (458,000 vs. 234,000) and A25-54 (166,000 vs. 96,000). This was “Morning Joe’s” best total viewer and A25-54 delivery ever. “Morning Joe” was the only morning cable news program to grow, up 12% among A25-54 and 2% in A25-54 compared to 2011. This was CNN’s lowest total viewer and demo delivery in more than ten years (since 2000) and Fox News Channel’s worst demo delivery since 2008.
“Hardball” at 5 p.m. ranked #2 for the year among both total viewers (878,000 vs. CNN’s 574,000) and A25-54 (185,000 vs. CNN’s 141,000). This is “Hardball’s” best total viewer delivery ever and the best A25-54 performance since 2008. Compared to 2011, “Hardball” at 5 p.m. is up 18% in A25-54 and 25% in total viewers. This was the worst demo performance for CNN since 1999 and the worst for Fox News since 2008.
In the first full year on the air, “PoliticsNation” with Rev. Al Sharpton at 6 p.m. had the best performance in the time period ever for MSNBC, ranking #2 in both total viewers (817,000 vs. CNN’s 487,000) and A25-54 (200,000 vs. CNN’s 138,000). MSNBC was the only cable news network to grow at 6 p.m., up 29% among A25-54 and 26% in total viewers compared to 2011. CNN had their worst year ever and FNC had the worst year since 2008 at 6 p.m. among A25-54.
At 7 p.m., “Hardball” ranked #2 in 2012 topping CNN in total viewers (857,000 vs. 452,000) and A25-54 (220,000 vs. 137,000). This is the best “Hardball” total viewer delivery ever and the best A25-54 performance since 2008. “Hardball” is the only cable news show to show growth, up 17% in total viewers and up 17% in A25-54 compared to 2011. CNN had their worst total viewer performance ever at 7 p.m. and FNC hit a four year low among A25-54 (since 2008).
“The Ed Show” ranked #2 for the year in both total viewers (1.01 million vs. CNN’s 551,000) and A25-54 (249,000 vs. 169,000). This is the 6th consecutive year that MSNBC has topped CNN at 8 p.m. and the best demo performance for MSNBC since 2009. “The Ed Show” was the only cable news program at 8 p.m. to grow year-over-year, up 12% in A25-54 and up 9% in total viewers compared to 2011. On FNC, “The O’Reilly Factor” had the lowest demo performance since 2007.
“The Rachel Maddow Show” at 9 p.m. had the show’s best year ever in both total viewers and A25-54. “Maddow” doubled “Piers Morgan Tonight’s” total viewer delivery (1.14 million vs. 585,000) and beat CNN among A25-54 for the third consecutive year (339,000 vs. 168,000). This was also MSNBC’s best total viewer performance ever at 9 p.m. Compared to 2011, “Maddow” was up 20% in A25-54 and up 15% in total viewers. “Maddow” ranked #1 among A18-34 for the year, up 44% in the younger demo compared to 2011. 2012 was CNN’s worst A25-54 delivery ever and the worst A25-54 performance for FNC’s “Hannity” since 2007.
“The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” had the best performance in MSNBC’s history in the 10 p.m. hour among both total viewers and A25-54. “The Last Word” ranked #2 for the year, beating CNN in A25-54 (299,000 vs. 198,000) and total viewers (1.03 million vs. 565,000). Compared to 2011, “The Last Word” was up 24% among A25-54 and 22% in total viewers. “The Last Word” ranked #1 among the younger demo of A18-34 for the year, up 49% compared to 2011.
MSNBC Dayside (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) had the best total viewer delivery (449,000) in the time period ever for MSNBC, up 26% compared to 2011 and the best A25-54 (116,000) performance since 2008. CNN had their worst dayside performance ever in both total viewer and A25-54.
“Up w/Chris Hayes” on Saturdays (8-10 a.m.) ranked #2 in both total viewers and A25-54 for the year. “Up” had 447,000 total viewers and 157,000 A25-54, an increase of 41% in total viewers and 36% among A25-54 compared to 2011. This was also MSNBC’s best time period rating since 2003 in both total viewers and A25-54. On Sundays (8-10 a.m.), “Up” grew 4% among A25-54 and 18% with total viewers compared to 2011. “Up” on Sundays ranked #1 among the younger demo of A18-34
“Melissa Harris-Perry” on Saturdays (10 a.m. – noon) had a 29% increase in A25-54 (139,000) and up 27% among total viewers (442,000) compared to 2011. “MHP” on Sundays (10 a.m. – noon) ranked #1 among A18-34, up 44% over 2011.
Weekend Longform (Sa/Su 7p-2a) ranked #1 for the third year in a row.
MSNBC is #1 in delivering African American viewers (M-Su Primetime) in 2012, up 42% in A25-54 and 60% in total viewers compared to 2011.

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