Wednesday, March 1, 2017

CableTV News Ratings: MSNBC Has Strong February

MSNBC in February continued its strong performance since Election Day, finishing No. 2 in total viewers among all cable networks while topping rival CNN for the third straight month in viewership, according to the Nielsen Research.

According to The Hill, MSNBC grew its prime-time viewership by 63 percent, compared to February 2016, while its daytime offerings are up 62 percent.

The program enjoying the most success has been "The Rachel Maddow Show.”

In February, the progressive, politically focused program delivered MSNBC’s biggest total viewer audience in the 9 p.m. time period ever. It was the 45th consecutive month Maddow has beaten CNN’s regularly scheduled programs in the time slot in total viewers, according to the network. During the previous week, between Feb. 13 and 18, Maddow enjoyed her most-watched week since October 2008 with an average of 2.6 million viewers.

In the morning show race, "Morning Joe" topped CNN in total viewers for second place in the cable news race, behind Fox News's "Fox & Friends." But CNN won in the advertiser-friendly 25- to 54-year-old demographic.

All of the cable news networks have benefited from the heightened interest that has come from the polarizing Trump administration.

Meanwhile, CNN's Brand Perception has sagged.

CNN president Jeff Zucker’s assertions that President Trump’s constant battering of the network these past two months seems to have inflicted small damage on the network’s consumer perception appear to be true.

However, CNN’s perception is well below where it was trending the first half of last year, allowing MSNBC to move past it in mid-January.

According to, over the past several weeks, MSNBC’s perception rose 50% while CNN's has been bumpy. Both networks are scoring in negative sentiment territory while Fox News Channel is right at the neutral mark, with equal positive and negative.

The big picture — going back to early 2016 — shows the possible toll particular news events, and being the recipient of incessant Trump bashing, may have taken on CNN.

CNN is currently trending below where it was over the first several months of 2016, when all three cable networks were in a consumer perception dogfight.

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