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May Ratings: MSNBC Tops CNN Again in Prime Time

For the third consecutive month, MSNBC beat CNN in the prime time A25-54 demo in May, while finishing ahead of CNN for the second time in three months in Total Viewers. FNC finished first.

Hardball with Chris Matthews topped CNN at 7pmET in both Total Viewers and the demo for 2nd place. Countdown with Keith Olbermann finished 2nd at 8pmET in both Total Viewers and the demo. The Rachel Maddow Show finished 2nd in the demo.

Morning Joe is up 16% in the demo and 15% in Total Viewers year-to-year.

Click continued to see the MSNBC release…


For the third consecutive month, MSNBC out-rated CNN in primetime among the key Adults 25-54 demographic in primetime and out-rated CNN in total viewers for the second time in three months, according to Nielsen Media Research data for the month of May. MSNBC was also the #1 cable news network among younger viewers, Adults 18-34. “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” continues to dominate CNN’s “Campbell Brown: No Bias No Bull” at 8 p.m., beating CNN for the 15th consecutive month among A25-54 and total viewers. “The Rachel Maddow Show” out-rated CNN’s “Larry King Live” for the seventh time in eight months in A25-54, while “Hardball with Chris Matthews” also out-rated CNN in total viewers and A25-54 at 7 p.m. Following are MSNBC ratings highlights for May 2009:

· MSNBC out-rated CNN in weekday primetime (M-F, 8-11 p.m. ET) by 25% among A25-54 (270,000 vs. 216,000) and by 6% in total viewers (891,000 vs. 842,000). This is the third consecutive month that MSNBC has beaten CNN in primetime in the key adult demographic, and the second time in three months among total viewers. MSNBC is up 10% in total viewers vs. May 2008 in primetime. MSNBC also beat CNN in M-Su primetime among A25-54 (250,000 vs. 194,000) and in M-Su sales prime (7 p.m-2 a.m. ET) in A25-54 (206,000 vs. 184,000).

· MSNBC is the #1 news network among younger viewers, Adults 18-34, in weekday primetime (93,000), M-Su primetime (89,000), and in M-Su sales prime (7 p.m.-2 a.m., 72,000). “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” was the #1 show at 8 p.m. in A18-34 (118,000).

· “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” continues to solidly beat CNN at 8 p.m., outrating “Campbell Brown: No Bias No Bull” by a huge 103% in A25-54 (323,000 vs. 159,000) and beating HLN’s “Nancy Grace” by 6% (323,000 vs. 304,000). “Countdown” also out-rated “Campbell Brown: No Bias No Bull” by a whopping 72% in total viewers (1,094,000 vs. 635,000) and “Nancy Grace” by 25% (1,094,000 vs. 873,000). The 10 p.m. re-air of “Countdown” out-rated CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360″ head to head 10 of 24 nights in May among A25-54.

· “The Rachel Maddow Show” once again out-rated “Larry King Live” in A25-54, beating the CNN program by 6% (247,000 vs. 232,000). This is the seventh time in eight months that “Rachel Maddow” has beaten CNN in the hour. “The Rachel Maddow Show” was the fastest growing cable news show in the hour in total viewers, up a huge 60% (895,000 vs. 560,000)

. “The Rachel Maddow Show” was also up 14% in A25-54 (247,000 vs. 217,000). “The Rachel Maddow Show” also out-rated CNN among younger viewers, A18-34 (80,000 vs. 51,000).

· “Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 7 p.m. ET beat CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” by 3% among A25-54 (187,000 vs. 181,000), by 1% in total viewers (664,000 vs. 657,000) and by 33% among A18-34 (60,000 vs. 45,000).

· “Morning Joe” was up 16% from May 2008 in A25-54 (139,000 vs. 120,000) and up 15% in total viewers (410,000 vs. 356,000).

· MSNBC was the #1 cable news network in weekend sales prime (Sa-Su, 7 p.m.-2 a.m.) among A25-54 (210,000). MSNBC also beat CNN among A25-54 in weekend total day (155,000 vs. 137,000).

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