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May 2013 Ratings: CNN Tops MSNBC For Second Straight Month

CNN claimed the second-place spot among the cable news networks in primetime in May — behind only Fox News Channel. The network also topped MSNBC in both total day and primetime for the second month in a row. The network — which hit a 20-year low last May — was up +61% in total day viewership and up +70% in primetime viewership.

The ratings for May 2013 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 665,000 Total Viewers / 228,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 465,000 Total Viewers / 161,000 A25-54

May highlights include “The Lead with Jake Tapper” which grew the 4pmET timeslot +50% in total viewers and +95% in A25-54 viewers. “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” at 6pMET was up +70% in total viewers and up +137% among A25-54 viewers and “Erin Burnett Outfront” at 7pm was up +97% in total viewers and up +130% in the demo.

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” has more than tripled the A25-54 audience in its timeslot. Since the show’s launch in April, it has been the #1 cable news program in its time period in the younger demo.

CNN’s release after the jump…


CNN Has Significant Growth from Last Year; #2 in Primetime

HLN Posts Best May Ever; #2 in Total Day

MSNBC Loses a Quarter of Primetime Audience; Ranks 4th in May

CNN Digital Up 36% Over May 2012; 100+ Million Video Starts and Counting

For the second consecutive month, CNN topped MSNBC in total day, M-F/M-Su primetime in both total viewers and in the key demo 25-54. CNN was the #2 rated cable news network in primetime this month, while HLN was #2 in total day. HLN also topped MNSBC in all the key day parts and this month represents HLN’s best May ever among total viewers and in the key demo 25-54.

Total Day (total viewers/demo 25-54)
HLN 495k/176k
CNN 465k/162k
MSNBC 346k/115k

M-F Primetime (total viewers/demo 25-54)
CNN 751k/252k
HLN 707k/238k
MSNBC 607k/170k

M-Sunday Primetime (total viewers/demo 25-54)
CNN 665k/228k
HLN 627k/210k
MNSBC 543k/177k

CNN Highlights:

In May, CNN had double and triple digit growth in all dayparts vs. a year ago. MSNBC lost one quarter of its total viewer and P25-54 M-F primetime audience and is registering primetime demo lows dating back to August 2006. FXNC was down in the key demo 25-54 this month compared to last year.

M-F primetime: CNN grew +85% (751k vs. 407k) in total viewers and increased +102% among 25-54 (252k vs. 125k)
MSNBC down -25% in total viewers (607k vs. 804k) and down -24% in the key demo (170k vs. 225k)
FXNC +14% in P2+ and down -8% in the key demo 25-54

M-Su primetime: CNN grew +70% in total viewers (665k vs. 392k) and increased +100% among 25-54 (228k vs. 114k)
MSNBC down -20% in total viewers (543k vs. 680k) and off -19% in 25-54 (177k vs. 218k)
FXNC +16% in P2+ and down -6% among 25-54

Total Day: CNN grew +61% in total viewers (465k vs. 288k) and increased +93% among 25-54 (162k vs. 84k)
MSNBC down -10% in total viewers (346k vs. 386k) and down -7% among 25-54 (115k vs. 124k)
FXNC +23% in P2+ and down -5% in the key demo 25-54

CNN programs also showed significant growth in May vs. last year, with MSNBC slipping behind both CNN and HLN:

The Lead with Jake Tapper (4pm): Grew +50% in total viewers (588k vs. 392k) and +95% in key demo 25-54 (160k vs. 82k), topping fourth place MSNBC.

The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (6pm): Increased +70% in P2+ (575k vs. 338k) and +137% among 25-54 (187k vs. 79k), topping fourth place MNSBC’s Politics Nation.

Erin Burnett Outfront (7pm): Nearly doubled (+97%) its P2+ audience compared to a year ago (607k vs. 308k) and more than doubled (+130%) its audience in the key demo (200k vs. 87k). EBO topped fourth place Hardball with Chris Matthews which was down -20% in total viewers (556k vs. 694k) and -5% in the key demo 25-54 (139k vs. 147k) this month.

Anderson Cooper 360 (8pm): Grew +99% in total viewers (778k vs. 390k) and was up +119% in the demo (256k vs. 117k). AC 360 was the topped rated show on CNN and ranked second in all of cable news at 8p in both total viewers and the demo (tying with HLN in total viewers). MSNBC’s All in With Chris Hayes was down a staggering -32% in total viewers (531k vs. 783k) and down -13% in the demo (148k vs. 171k) vs. The Ed Show a year ago. Chris Hayes ranked 4th at 8p this month.

Piers Morgan Live (9pm): Increased +79% in total viewers (759k vs. 425k) and grew +101% in the demo (237k vs. 118k). Piers Morgan Live ranked second in all of cable news at 9pm among total viewers, with MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show placing 4th in total viewers and in the demo 25-54. Maddow declined -21% in total viewers (724k vs. 914k) and -22% in the demo (215k vs. 277k) compared to a year ago.

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (Sundays, 9pm): The program has been the #1 cable news program in its time period among 25-54 each week since launching in April. In its first full month on the air, the show has more than tripled its 25-54 audience from a year ago (284k vs. 81k, +251%) and is up substantially in total viewers (656k vs. 377k, +74%).

HLN Highlights:
In May, HLN posted triple-digit growth in total day and prime:
Total Day
P2+:+111% (495k vs 235k)
P25-54:+91% (176k vs 92k)

Prime (M-F)
P2+:+135% (707k vs 301k)
P25-54:+138% (238k vs 100k)
#2 cable news network in total day in both total viewers and P25-54;
Scores best May ever among P2+ and 25-54 in total day;
“Morning Express with Robin Meade” beats MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for the 3rd straight month among P25-54 by 28%;
Top-rated network in all ad-supported cable in P25-54 (646k) on Wed, May 8, during Jodi Arias verdict hour (4-5 p.m. ET)
Ranked #1 again among ad-supported cable networks during the 2 p.m. ET hour on Tue, May 21, delivering 2.227 million P2+ and 620k P25-54, as Arias took the stand in defense of her life.
·, HLN’s online destination for users, broke records once again, delivering its highest month ever for page views, unique visitors and video starts since its October 2011 launch. For May to-date, the site served up nearly 82M page views, up triple digits from the prior year, and 6.7M unique visitors, a 36% increase versus May 2012. Additionally, video starts reached an all-time high of 7.1M, surpassing the previous record of 6.6M from March of this year. The site’s top article “Photos: Evidence that convicted Jodi Arias” has reached 103M page views to date, 29.3M of which were viewed in May 2013. Source: Adobe SiteCatalyst Note: current month’s data measured from 5/1/13 – 5/28/13

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