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May 2011 Ratings: MSNBC continues to top CNN in primetime

The month of May saw multi-year highs for several MSNBC programs. “Morning Joe,” the #2 cable morning news program behind “Fox & Friends,” had its best A25-54 performance since Nov. 2008. “The Ed Show” gave MSNBC its best 10pmET A25-54 audience also since Nov. 2008, finishing third in the hour behind FNC and CNN.

The ratings for May, 2011:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 838K Total Viewers / 277K A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 477K Total Viewers / 169K A25-54

Year-over-year, MSNBC is up double digits: up +22% in Total Viewers and up +28% in younger viewers for total day viewing and up +11% in Total Viewers and up +18% in younger viewers in primetime. “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” is up +6% in A25-54 viewers compared to last May when “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” aired. And “The Rachel Maddow Show” had its best A25-54 performance in more than two years — since March 2009.

MSNBC CONTINUES TO TOP CNN IN PRIME – MAY 2011 RATINGS

NEW YORK – June 1, 2011 – MSNBC continued to beat CNN in the morning and in all key primetime dayparts among total viewers and A25-54 for the month of May 2011, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. In May, MSNBC was also the No. 1 cable news network among A18-34 in primetime, with a 7% advantage over CNN and a 14% lead over Fox News Channel. For the month, “Morning Joe” had its best A25-54 delivery in more than three years and topped CNN and HLN in both total viewers and the demo.

Following are MSNBC ratings highlights for May:

“Morning Joe” is the No. 2 cable morning news program topping CNN’s “American Morning” and HLN’s “Morning Express with Robin Meade” in both A25-54 (182,000 vs. 166,000 CNN/HLN) and total viewers (519,000 vs. 390,000/CNN and 328,000/HLN). May 2011 marked the best A25-54 performance for “Morning Joe” since November 2008. Compared to May 2010, “Morning Joe” is up in all key demos, including 53% growth in A25-54 and 28% growth among total viewers.

“Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 7 p.m. beat CNN’s “John King USA” in total viewers (751,000 vs. 664,000). “Hardball” had the best A25-54 (209,000) delivery since March 2009 and best total viewer delivery since February 2009. At 5 p.m., “Hardball” delivered its strongest A25-54 (187,000) and total viewer (762,000) audiences since January 2009.

At 8 p.m., MSNBC topped CNN for the 39th consecutive month. “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” topped CNN’s “In the Arena” by 35% in A25-54 (266,000 vs. 197,000) and 61% in total viewers (1.002 million vs. 624,000). Compared to MSNBC in May 2010, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” is up 6% in A25-54.

“The Rachel Maddow Show” beat “Piers Morgan Tonight” for the month of May among all key demos, marking the 16th consecutive monthly win over CNN in total viewers. Maddow beat CNN by 35% in A25-54 (336,000 vs. 248,000) and by 34% in total viewers (1.064 million vs. 793,000). This is the best A25-54 performance for TRMS since March 2009. Compared to May 2010, Maddow has grown in all key demos including a 37% increase in A25-54 and 11% growth among total viewers. “The Rachel Maddow Show” is also ranked No. 1 among younger viewers, topping both Fox News Channel and CNN in A18-34.

“The Ed Show” at 10 p.m. on MSNBC delivered the best A25-54 performance since
its launch and the largest A25-54 audience in the hour since November 2008. Compared to MSNBC at 10 p.m. in May 2010, “The Ed Show” is up 46% in total viewers (941,000 vs. 645,000) and 45% in A25-54 (298,000 vs. 206,000).
At 6 p.m., “MSNBC Live” hosted by Cenk Uygur delivered its strongest A25-54 (164,000) and total viewer (665,000) audiences since its launch in January 2011.

MSNBC is No. 1 among African American viewers in M-Su Primetime. May marks the 16th consecutive month MSNBC has been the #1 network among African Americans in primetime.

In weekend sales prime (Saturday and Sunday 7p-2a), MSNBC’s longform programming ranked No. 2 and beat Fox News Channel among A25-54 for the month. Among younger viewers A18-34, MSNBC ranked No. 1 for the 31st straight month.

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