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October 2010 Ratings: MSNBC is Only Cable News Channel to Show Growth

In October, MSNBC was the only cable news network to show overall growth compared to October ’09. In total day (Mon-Sun), the network is up +16% in Total Viewers and up +8% in younger viewers. In primetime (Mon-Fri), MSNBC is up +13% in Total Viewers and up +3% in the demo.

  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 409k total / 143k A25-54
  • Prime Time (Mon-Sun): 799k total / 247k A25-54

In the 5 PM hour, MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” was the only program to show growth: up +6% in Total Viewers and up +7% in the demo. At 6 PM, “The Ed Show” was up a whopping +28% in Total Viewers and up +10% in younger viewers. Rachel Maddow was also up double digits in both Total Viewers and younger viewers and in its first month on the air, MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” topped CNN’s “AC 360,” and improved the MSNBC timeslot +30% in Total Viewers and 10% in younger viewers compared to Oct. ’09 when the re-air of “Countdown” occupied the timeslot.


“The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” Tops “AC 360” in First Month
MSNBC is #1 Cable News Network Among African American and Hispanic Viewers in Primetime for 9th Consecutive Month

NEW YORK – November 2, 2010 – MSNBC topped CNN in viewers 25-54 for the fourth straight month in total day in October, the seventh month this year that it has done so, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. MSNBC has out-rated CNN in primetime among both Adults 25-54 and total viewers for nine consecutive months in 2010. MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” “The Ed Show,” “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” all out-rated CNN in October among both A25-54 and total viewers. Additionally, the network drew the largest number of African American and Hispanic viewers in primetime of any cable news channel for the 9th consecutive month.
Following are MSNBC ratings highlights for October:
• MSNBC beat CNN in total day among A25-54 for the fourth straight month in October (143,000 vs. 121,000). Year to year, MSNBC grew in the demo (143,000 vs. 131,000) while CNN dropped 14 percent (121,000 vs. 141,000).
• In primetime, MSNBC dominated CNN by 50 percent among A25-54 (246,000 vs. 164,000), by 41 percent among total viewers (792,000 vs. 561,000) and by 91 percent among younger viewers, 18-34 (61,000 vs. 32,000).
• Among African American primetime cable news viewers, MSNBC had a 49% share of the audience (178,000 vs. 109,000 for CNN, 47,000 for HLN and 32,000 for FNC). MSNBC drew 37% of the Hispanic viewers in primetime (59,000 vs. 57,000 for FNC, 27,000 for CNN and 17,000 for HLN).
• “Morning Joe” beat CNN’s “American Morning” for the third consecutive month in A25-54 (131,000 vs. 108,000), and for the eighth straight month among total viewers (397,000 vs. 281,000)
• “The Ed Show” delivered 164,000 A25-54, beating CNN (164,000 vs. 146,000). “The Ed Show” also bested CNN among total viewers (706,000 vs. 553,000).
• At 7 p.m., “Hardball” beat CNN for the eighth straight month in A25-54 (182,000 vs. 134,000) and for the ninth straight month in total viewers (666,000 vs. 458,000).
• “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” beat CNN at 8 p.m. for the 32nd consecutive month among A25-54 (271,000 vs. 145,000) and beat CNN and HLN for the 32nd consecutive month among total viewers: “Countdown” delivered 1,074,000 viewers, while “Parker-Spitzer” drew 506,000 and “Nancy Grace” had 603,000. “Parker-Spitzer” was the worst launch of any CNN primetime show in nearly a decade (“Greenfield at Large” delivered fewer viewers when it launched in June of 2001).
• “The Rachel Maddow Show” beat CNN’s “Larry King Live” for the ninth straight month among A25-54 (275,000 vs. 168,000) and total viewers (976,000 vs. 657,000).
• “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” debuted to very strong numbers, beating “AC 360” among A25-54 (253,000 vs. 228,000) and total viewers (881,000 vs. 722,000).
• MSNBC’s longform weekend programming (7 p.m.-2 a.m.) ranked number one among the cable news networks in A25-54 for the seventh month in a row, and beat CNN for the 16th consecutive month.

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