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Q1 2010 Ratings: MSNBC Down Double Digits; Tops CNN in Prime

MSNBC saw viewership decreases in Q1 compared to last year, but continued to outperform CNN in primetime and, for the first time, drew more viewers in the morning.

Total day (Mon-Sun): 396K Total / 136K A25-54
Prime (Mon-Sun): 805K Total / 269K A25-54

For the first time ever, “Morning Joe” pulled into second place among the cable morning shows in Total Viewers in March and in Q1, topping CNN’s “American Morning” and HLN’s “Morning Express.” “Morning Joe” averaged 355K Total Viewers for Q1 and 374K in March.

All MSNBC programming was down double digits compared to Q1 of ’09. Monday to Sunday, MSNBC’s primetime for the quarter was down -15% in Total Viewers compared to Q1 of ’09 (-22% demo). “Countdown” was down -26% in Total Viewers (-42% demo), and “Rachel Maddow” was down -25% (-38% demo).

But in Q1 and in March, “Countdown [without Keith Olbermann]” and Rachel Maddow drew larger audiences than their CNN competition. MSNBC also topped CNN in the total day demo for the month of March, a first since August of 2001.

Press release after the jump…


MSNBC Beats CNN in 1Q 2010 In Primetime

MSNBC Beats CNN in Total Day Among Adults In March, First Time Since 2001

“Morning Joe” Beats “American Morning” for First Time Ever

NEW YORK – March 30, 2010 – MSNBC beat CNN in primetime in the first quarter of 2010, finishing well ahead of the formerly dominant news network among both total viewers and in the key adult demographic. MSNBC also beat CNN in total day in March among adults for the first time since August 2001. “Morning Joe” edged out CNN’s “American Morning” for the quarter in total viewers and finished the month 15 percent ahead of CNN’s “American Morning,” the first time that “Morning Joe” has topped CNN since launching in 2007. “The Ed Show” also beat CNN’s “The Situation Room” for the first time in March among total viewers. MSNBC bested CNN at 6, 7, 8 and 9 in total viewers in March, and at 10 p.m. in A25-54. March marked the seventh month out of the last eight that MSNBC has beaten CNN in primetime. Following are ratings highlights for 1Q 2010 and March 2010:

· MSNBC beat CNN in primetime in 1Q 2010 by 17 percent in total viewers (805,000 vs. 690,000) and by 35 percent in A25-54 (269,000 vs. 200,000). In March, MSNBC finished the month ahead of CNN by 22 percent in total viewers (801,000 vs. 656,000) and by 35 percent in A25-54 (242,000 vs. 179,000). This was the seventh month out of the last eight that MSNBC has beaten CNN in the key adults demographic in primetime. MSNBC was also the #1 news network among younger adults, 18-34 in 1Q10 and in March in primetime.

· For the first time in nearly nine years (August 2001), MSNBC beat CNN in total day among A25-54 in March (132,000 vs. 131,000).

· Also for the first time ever, “Morning Joe” surpassed CNN’s “American Morning” in 1Q10 among total viewers (355,000 vs. 354,000). “Morning Joe” also bested “American Morning” in March by 15 percent among total viewers (374,000 vs. 325,000).

· “The Ed Show” topped CNN’s “The Situation Room” for the first time among total viewers in March (569,000 vs. 513,000) and tied CNN among A25-54 (129,000).

· “Hardball with Chris Matthews” finished March well ahead of CNN at 7 p.m., where “John King USA” launched last week, up 21 percent in total viewers at 7 p.m. (629,000 vs. 520,000) and 20 percent in A25-54 (163,000 vs. 136,000). “Hardball” also out-rated CNN for the quarter at 7 p.m. by 5 percent in total viewers (609,000 vs. 580,000) and by 7 percent in A25-54 (151,000 vs. 141,000).

· “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” continued to dominate CNN at 8 p.m., beating “Campbell Brown” by 61 percent in total viewers (1,007,000 vs. 625,000) and 48 percent in A25-54 in 1Q 2010 (260,000 vs. 176,000) and by 87 percent among total viewers (1,052,000 vs. 563,000) and 74 percent among A25-54 (262,000 vs. 151,000) in March. The repeat of “Countdown” also out-rated “Anderson Cooper 360” at 10 p.m. among A25-54 in March by 13 percent (222,000 vs. 196,000). “Countdown” was also the #1 cable news show at 10 p.m. among younger viewers, A18-34.

· “The Rachel Maddow Show” finished well ahead of CNN’s “Larry King Live” in 1Q, up by 20 percent in total viewers (920,000 vs. 767,000) and 18 percent among Adults 25-54 (238,000 vs. 201,000). The advantage was even greater in March, with Maddow up by 58 percent in total viewers (1,067,000 vs. 676,000) and 55 percent among A25-54 (268,000 vs. 173,000).

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