MSNBC Sees Ratings Gains Compared to Last Year; Fox News Tops Cable News in Primetime

November’s numbers are now in and it looks like there’s something all three major cable news networks can hang their hats on. Fox News once again led all of cable news in total day and primetime viewers, representing its 191st straight month on top of the heap. For total day, FNC averaged 1.43 million viewers overall and 299,000 in the coveted 25-54 demographic. MSNBC finished 2nd in overall total day viewership with 942,000 viewers while coming in 3rd in the 25-54 demo (209,000). CNN nabbed an overall audience of 690,000 viewers in total day while finishing 2nd in the key demo with 228,000. As for primetime, Fox averaged 2.3 million total viewers and a key demo audience of 447,000. MSNBC was second in both metrics with a total audience of 1.69 million and 371,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic. CNN attracted 855,000 overall viewers in primetime and in 301,000 in the demo. As one would expect, ratings compared to November 2016 would be down considering last year at this time much of the focus and coverage was on the election and the surprising result of Donald Trump’s victory. However, while two of the networks — CNN and Fox News — saw large dips in both total day and primetime viewership in comparison with last November, MSNBC is actually up. In overall total day viewership, MSNBC has seen a gain of 28% and is up 7% in the 25-54 demo. For primetime, the network is up 26% in total viewers and 4% in the key demographic. When it comes to individual achievements, Fox News can crow that they have four of the top five cable news programs in total viewership and three of the top five in the 25-54 demo. Hannity was the number one show in both categories, drawing an overall audience of 3.16 million and 639,000 in the 25-54 demographic. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show — which at one point this year was the number one show in all of cable news — continued to post strong numbers, finishing third in total viewers at 2.8 million and a close 2nd in the key demo (634,000). (If you factor in specials aired in Hannity’s time slot, Maddow would have placed first in the 25-54 demo, as that brought Fox News down to 615,000.) Fox News’ latest addition to its primetime lineup, The Ingraham Angle, finished as the 4th highest rated show in cable news in both total viewers (2.46 million) and the 25-54 demo (492,000). Its 10 PM MSNBC counterpart, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, also drew good numbers, finishing 5th in all of cable news in the key demo (477,000). Meanwhile, MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams topped cable news in both total viewers (1.54 million) and the 25-54 demographic (351,000) in its 11 PM time slot. CNN saw strong ratings for its CNN Original Series and Films. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, which airs on Sundays at 9 PM, was tops for its time period in cable news for the 25-54 demo. The same was true for This Is Life with Lisa Ling, which airs on Sundays at 10 PM. Another bragging point for CNN is that their overall audience is younger than Fox and MSNBC, as total day viewership is five years younger than their cable news competition and seven years younger than Fox in primetime. [image via FNC/MSNBC/CNN] — Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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