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February ’10 Ratings: MSNBC Back to Second in Prime; Primetime Shows Down from Year Ago

MSNBC moved back into primetime’s #2 spot in February after being third in January, but still saw decreases in viewership from a year ago when Olympic coverage is removed.

Total day (Mon-Sun): 432k total viewers / 157k A25-54
Prime (Mon-Sun) with Olympics: 935k total viewers / 350k A25-54
Prime (Mon-Sun) without Olympics: 709k total viewers / 221k A25-54

“Countdown” and “Rachel Maddow” ended the month averaging the second-most viewers in their time slots, ahead of CNN and HLN, but behind Fox News. “Countdown” finished the month averaging 964,000 total viewers (350,000 demo) and “Rachel Maddow” finished with 819K total viewers (213K demo).

But both were down from February of 2009. Olbermann was down -29% in total viewers (-43% demo) and Maddow was down -44% in total viewers (-33% demo). “Morning Joe” remains in 4th among the morning shows, and MSNBC programs from 9am-5pm still trail CNN and HLN.

MSNBC press release after the jump.

MSNBC Pulls Ahead of CNN in Primetime in February

Out-Rates CNN at 7, 8 and 9

MSNBC Number One Among Younger Viewers

CNN Back in Fourth Place

NEW YORK – March 2, 2010 – MSNBC pulled back ahead of CNN in primetime in February, with “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and “The Rachel Maddow Show” all finishing ahead of their CNN and HLN competition for the month. MSNBC finished the month out-rating CNN in primetime by 75% in total viewers (935,000 vs. 534,000) and by 138% in A25-54 (350,000 vs. 147,000). CNN fell to fourth place again in February in A25-54 in primetime. Following are MSNBC ratings highlights for February 2010:

· MSNBC beat CNN by 75% in total viewers (935,000 vs. 534,000) and by 138% in A25-54 (350,000 vs. 147,000). MSNBC also finished number one in primetime among younger adults, 18-34 for the month. Excluding coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, MSNBC beat CNN in primetime (M-Su, 8-11 p.m.) by 33% in total viewers (709,000 vs. 534,000) and by 50% in A25-54 (221,000 vs. 147,000).

· “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” demolished CNN’s “Campbell Brown” by 83% in total viewers in February (964,000 vs. 526,000) and by 77% in A25-54 (256,000 vs. 145,000). “Countdown” also out-rated HLN’s “Nancy Grace” by 26% in total viewers (964,000 vs. 763,000) and by 2% in A25-54 (256,000 vs. 251,000). “Campbell Brown” has finished in fourth place 13 consecutive months among A25-54 and 10 of the last 13 months among total viewers. “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” has beaten “Campbell Brown/CNN Election Center” 24 of the last 25 months (Numbers referenced here are program data).

· “The Rachel Maddow Show” pulled way ahead of CNN’s “Larry King Live” in February, out-rating him by 22% in total viewers (819,000 vs. 669,000) and by 37% in A25-54 (213,000 vs. 156,000). “Larry King Live” and “Anderson Cooper 360” both saw the biggest year-to-year declines in cable news, each falling 62% versus February 2009 among A25-54. “The Rachel Maddow Show” also out-rated HLN’s “Joy Behar” by 37% in total viewers (819,000 vs. 598,000) and by 45% in A25-54 (213,000 vs. 147,000). (Numbers referenced here are program data)

· “Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 7 p.m. beat CNN’s “Situation Room” by 5% in total viewers in February (578,000 vs. 548,000). (Numbers referenced here are program data)

· Excluding Olympic coverage, MSNBC was the number one news network in weekend sales prime (7pm-2am) among both A25-54 (222,000) and in younger adults 18-34 (98,000).

· MSNBC is currently tracking ahead of CNN for the quarter in primetime, 281,000 vs. 209,000 among Adults 25-54, and in total viewers 806,000 vs. 705,000.

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