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Q2 2012 Ratings: MSNBC Down Double Digits

MSNBC continued its run as the #2 cable news network for Q2 2012 but is also experiencing declines, double digit in most cases. In Primetime, MSNBC is down -13% in Total Viewers and -17% in younger viewers. In Total Day viewership is down -10% in Total Viewers and -17% in younger viewers.

The ratings for Q2 2012:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 689,000 Total Viewers / 217,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 394,000 Total Viewers / 129,000 A25-54

All of MSNBC’s primetime shows topped CNN’s primetime shows for the quarter: Ed Schultz over Anderson Cooper at 8pm by +84% in Total Viewers and +45% in A25-54 viewers; Rachel Maddow over Piers Morgan at 9pm +88% / +99%; and Lawrence O’Donnell over Cooper at 10pm, +77% / +54%.

Still, most of MSNBC’s signature shows are down double digits in younger viewers: “The Ed Show” is down -26%; “The Rachel Maddow Show” is down -18%, and “Last Word” is down -20% as is “Morning Joe,” though “Joe” is still a solid #2 in the time period behind “Fox & Friends” (which is down -11% in younger viewers).

MSNBC’s opinion shows have given a lift to weekend mornings. “Up with Chris Hayes” tops CNN in younger viewers from 8-10amET on Saturday and Sunday. While “Melissa Harris-Perry” has grown viewership in the 10–Noon time period +9% and +20% on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

More details in the MSNBC release after the jump…

NEW YORK – June 26, 2012 – MSNBC continues to top CNN in all key ratings categories including Total Day and Primetime for the second quarter of 2012, according to data from Nielsen Media Research.

During a quarter that saw all-time lows (since at least 1991, as far back as data is available) for CNN in M-F Primetime, M-Su Primetime and the lowest quarterly delivery in Total Day in more than a decade (since 3Q00), MSNBC maintained strong leads over CNN in the morning with “Way Too Early” and “Morning Joe” and in primetime with “Hardball,” “PoliticsNation,” “The Ed Show,” “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and “The Last Word.”

MSNBC topped CNN for the quarter in weekday primetime in total viewers by 74% (812,000 vs. 468,000) and by 59% in A25-54 (226,000 vs. 142,000) . In Monday – Sunday primetime, MSNBC beat CNN among total viewers by 54% (689,000 vs. 446,000) and by 68% among A25-54 (217,000 vs. 129,000). This is MSNBC’s largest quarterly percent advantage over CNN ever.

MSNBC was also #2 for the quarter in Total Day (M-Su 6a-6a) topping CNN in both total viewers (394,000 vs. 319,000) and A25-54 (129,000 vs. 95,000).

MSNBC is #1 among the younger demo of A18-34 in total day, sales day, and primetime for the quarter.

Following are MSNBC’s morning and primetime ratings highlights for 2Q2012:

· At 5:30 a.m. “Way Too Early” was #2, beating CNN in total viewers (168,000 vs.143,000) and A25-54 (76,000 vs. 67,000).

· “Morning Joe” ranked #2 topping CNN in total viewers for the 10th consecutive quarter (382,000 vs. 256,000) and the 5th straight quarter among A25-54 (138,000 vs. 81,000). CNN’s morning line-up had the lowest quarterly delivery in the time period in more than a decade (since 2Q01) and dropped 47% in A25-54 and XX% in total viewers compared to 2Q11.

· “Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 5 p.m. ranked #2 in total viewers (667,000 vs. 484,000) and A25-54 (122,000 vs. 106,000). CNN at 5 p.m. had the lowest quarterly delivery in the time period in more than a decade (since 2Q01) in both A25-54 and total viewers and is down 44% among A25-54 compared to 2Q11.

· “PoliticsNation” with Al Sharpton at 6 p.m. ranked #2, topping CNN by 81% among total viewers (670,000 vs. 371,000) and by 66% in A25-54 (146,000 vs. 88,000) for the 3rd straight quarter. “PoliticsNation” is up 10% with total viewers from 2Q11, the only cable news program to post growth in the hour. CNN’s “John King USA” had the lowest A25-54 delivery since 3Q00 and was down 53% compared to 2Q11.

· “Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 7 p.m. topped CNN among A25-54 (150,000 vs. 104,000) and among total viewers (705,000 vs. 362,000) for the quarter. “Hardball” at 7 p.m is up 6% among the younger demo of A18-34, the only cable news program to show any growth in the hour. CNN’s “Erin Burnett Outfront” was down 45% in A25-54 and 33% among total viewers compared to 2Q11 (John King USA was in the timeslot). This is CNN’s lowest quarterly performance at 7 p.m. ever (since at least 1991, as far back as data is available).

·At 8 p.m., “The Ed Show” topped CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” by 45% in A25-54 (187,000 vs. 129,000) and by 84% in total viewers (815,000 vs. 443,000). CNN is down 23% in A25-54 and 19% in total viewers from 2Q11 (In the Arena with Parker/Spitzer was in the time slot). CNN had its worst quarterly delivery at 8 p.m. in more than a decade – since 2Q00 among A25-54 and since 3Q00 among total viewers.

· The Rachel Maddow Show at 9 p.m. beat CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” by 99% in A25-54 (272,000 vs. 137,000) and 88% among total viewers (921,000 vs. 490,000). Maddow also ranked #1 with A18-34 for the quarter, posting a 9% increase in this younger demo from 2Q11, the only cable news program growth in the hour. “Piers Morgan Tonight” is down 32% in A25-54 and 27% among total viewers from 2Q11. This is CNN its worst quarterly ratings performance at 9 p.m. ever (since at least 1991, as far back as data is available).

· “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” ranked #2 at 10 p.m. and beat CNN in total viewers by 77% (833,000 vs. 471,000) and by 54% in A25-54 (243,000 vs. 158,000). “The Last Word” is #1 among A18-34 and up 36% in this younger demo compared to 2Q11, posting the only cable news growth in the hour. CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360 at 10 p.m. is down 48% among A25-54 and 44% in total viewers compared to 2Q11. This is CNN’s lowest delivery in the time period in more than a decade (since 2Q01).

· MSNBC is #1 in delivering African American total viewers among cable news channels for the 10th consecutive quarter in Monday – Sunday Primetime.

MSNBC’s daytime and weekend program highlights include:

- In daytime, MSNBC increased 9% among A18-34 from 2Q11, posting the only cable news growth in the time period.

- At 9 a.m. “The Daily Rundown” with Chuck Todd topped CNN to rank #2 for the third consecutive quarter among total viewers. Among A18-34, the program grew 52% compared to 2Q11, more growth than all cable news programs in the hour combined.

· “Jansing & Co.” at 10 a.m. grew 41% in the A18-34 demographic, more growth than all cable news programs in the hour combined.

· At 11 a.m. “MSNBC Live” with Thomas Roberts was up 35% with A18-34 over 2Q11, more growth than all cable news programs in the hour combined.

· At 3 p.m. “Martin Bashir” beat CNN among total viewers, up was up 30% over 2Q11, more growth than all cable news programs in the hour combined.

· On Saturdays, “Up with Chris Hayes” from 8 a.m. 10 a.m. ranked #2 with A25-54 besting CNN by 11% (131,000 vs. 118,000) and up 3% from 2Q11, posting the only cable news growth in the hour. “Up” increased 17% in total viewers and 6% in A18-34 over the time period in 2Q11. “Melissa Harris-Perry” from 10a – noon grew 9% in total viewers and 43% in A18-34 from the time period in 2Q11.

· On Sundays, “Up with Chris Hayes” from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. topped CNN by 20% in A25-54 (134,000 vs. 112,000), up 2% from the time period in 2Q11. “Up” also increased 20% in total viewers from 2Q11. “Melissa Harris-Perry” from 10a-noon increased 20% in total viewers from the time period in 2Q11, increasing more than all cable news programs in the time period combined. “MHP” was also up 48% among A18-34 over 2Q11, more growth than all cable news programs in the time period combined. “Weekends with Alex Witt” from noon – 2p was #1 with A18-34.

· MSNBC Longform Weekend Prime (Sa/Su 7p-2a) ranked #1 in A25-54 for the 8th consecutive quarter and #1 with younger viewers A18-34 for the 27th quarter.

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