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October 2013 Ratings: Partisan Gridlock Keeps MSNBC in Second Place

Like Fox News and CNN, MSNBC too found itself losing half its primetime audience in October, vs. October, 2012. Not surprising, since that included the final weeks of the 2012 elections and the beginning of Hurricane Sandy coverage.

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

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 795,000 Total Viewers / 233,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 491,000 Total Viewers / 145,000 A25-54

MSNBC was down -45% in total viewers and down -55% in the demo in primetime. In total day viewing, the losses were less deep: -26% in viewers and -39% in the demo. And while the year-to-year losses were steep, month-to-month, MSNBC saw significant growth. Weekday primetime was up +38% in total viewers and up +22% in the A25-54 demo. With the government shutdown and partisan politics ruling the month, most of MSNBC’s daytime shows were up double digits vs. September. Among younger viewers, “Hardball” had its best month since last November, and “Morning Joe” had its best since January.

MSNBC’s press release, after the jump…

MSNBC RATINGS HIGHLIGHTS – OCT. 2013

MSNBC Up Double Digits From September in All Key Dayparts

MSNBC Hit Six-Month Highs and Tops CNN in Morning and Primetime

NEW YORK – October 29, 2013 – MSNBC beat CNN for the month of October in the key morning, weekday primetime and M-Su primetime dayparts according to data from Nielsen. MSNBC was also up across the board among total viewers and A25-54 in all key dayparts compared to September 2013.

For the month, MSNBC ranked #2 in weekday primetime, topping CNN among total viewers (946,000 vs. CNN’s 645,000) and A25-54 (241,000 vs. CNN’s 201,000). Compared to September, MSNBC weekday primetime was up 22% among A25-54 and 38% among total viewers in October. MSNBC also ranked #2 in Monday- Sunday primetime among A25-54 (233,000 vs. CNN’s 189,000) and total viewers (795,000 vs. CNN’s 576,000). MSNBC M-Su primetime was up 20% among A25-54 and 34% among total viewers in October compared to September. October was MSNBC’s best M-F and M-Su primetime monthly delivery since April 2013.

MSNBC ranked #2 in the sales prime daypart (M-Su 7p-2a) among A25-54 (208,000 vs. CNN’s 160,000) and total viewers (653,000 vs. 465,000). This was MSNBC’s best M-Su sales prime delivery since Dec. 2012. MSNBC was up 11% among A25-54 and 27% in total viewers in October compared to September.

Below are program and daypart highlights for October:

“Morning Joe” from 6-9 a.m. ranked #2 for the month among both A25-54 (157,000 vs. CNN’s 111,000) and total viewers (526,000 vs. CNN’s 313,000). “Morning Joe” was up 14% among A25-54 and 24% among total viewers compared to September 2013 and had the best monthly A25-54 delivery since Jan. 2013. “Way Too Early” at 5:30a also placed second for the month with 86,000 A25-54 and 280,000 total viewers.

“The Ed Show” at 5 p.m. topped CNN among total viewers for the month (849,000 vs. CNN’s 716,000). “The Ed Show” was up 27% among A25-54 and 36% among total viewers compared to September 2013 and had the best demo performance in the hour since Jan. 2013.

“PoliticsNation” with Rev. Al Sharpton at 6 p.m. ET beat CNN in October among total viewers with 812,000 (vs. 598,000). Compared to September, “PoliticsNation” was up 27% among A25-54 and 32% in total viewers and had the best demo delivery since Feb. 2013.

“Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 7p was #2 for the month among A25-54 (258,000 vs. CNN’s 186,000) and total viewers (1.12 million vs. CNN’s 573,000). “Hardball” saw more month-to-month growth than any other cable news show at 7 p.m., up 49% among A25-54 and 53% in total viewers compared to September. “Hardball” also had the best monthly A25-54 delivery in nearly a year – since Nov. 2012.

“All In” with Chris Hayes at 8p was #2 for a second consecutive month, topping CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” among A25-54 (217,000 vs. CNN’s 211,000) and total viewers (897,000 vs. CNN’s 706,000). “All In” saw double digit growth from September, up 23% among A25-54 and 40% in total viewers. This was “All In’s” best monthly demo delivery since the show launched in April 2013.

“The Rachel Maddow Show” at 9p was #2 for the month among A25-54 (277,000 vs. CNN’s 185,000) and total viewers (1.07 million vs. CNN’s 637,000). Compared to September, “The Rachel Maddow Show” is up 21% in A25-54 and 32% in total viewers, more growth than any other cable news show in the hour. October was the best A25-54 delivery for TRMS since April 2013.

“The Last Word” at 10 p.m. (Monday – Thursday) ranked #2 among A2554 (248,000 vs. 182,000) and total viewers for the month (948,000 vs. 535,000). Compared to September, “The Last Word” is up 27% among A25-54 and 36% in total viewers, more growth than any other cable news show in the hour. This was the best A25-54 delivery for The Last Word since Dec. 2012.

“Up Late with Alec Baldwin” on Fridays at 10 p.m. debuted in October ranking #2 for the month with 578,000 total viewers.

“Up with Steve Kornacki” ranked #2 among A25-54 on both Saturdays (125,000) and Sundays(123,000) in October.

MSNBC’s weekend programming continues to lead with younger audiences. For the month of October, “Up with Steve Kornacki” (Sa/Su 10a-noon), “Melissa Harris-Perry” (Sa/Su noon – 2p), “MSNBC Live” (Sa/Su 3-4p) and “Disrupt with Karen Finney” on Saturdays at 4 p.m. all ranked #1 among A18-34.

MSNBC ranked #1 in weekend sales prime (Sa/Su 7p-2a) for the 6th consecutive month among A2554.
MSNBC ranked #1 among African-American viewers in both A25-54 and total viewers in all key dayparts.
MSNBC ranked #1 among Hispanic viewers A25-54 in M-F primetime and M-Su primetime

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