February Ratings: MSNBC Tops In Total Day Viewers, CNN Wins Key Demo, Fox News Takes Primetime

Ted Johnson
·2 min read

MSNBC drew the most total day viewers in February, beating all other cable networks in the ratings yardstick, while The Rachel Maddow Show was the top regularly scheduled show.

The other news networks also were touting their numbers: CNN beat other networks in the 25-54 demographic in the total day timeframe as well as primetime.

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Fox News, meanwhile, returned to the top in primetime among total viewers, after CNN led in January. Still, in February, CNN’s numbers were up 61% in primetime versus a year earlier, while MSNBC increased 23% and Fox News was down 30%.

In total day, MSNBC averaged 1.36 million total viewers, followed by Fox News with 1.32 million and CNN with 1.19 million. Year over year, CNN was up 76%, MSNBC increased 37% and Fox News was down 32%. In the 25-54 demo, CNN averaged 281,000, followed by Fox News with 210,000 and MSNBC with 206,000.

In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.47 million viewers, compared to MSNBC with 2.19 million and CNN with 1.69 million. In the 25-54 demo, CNN was on top with 411,000, compared to Fox News with 365,000 and MSNBC with 340,000.

The Rachel Maddow Show averaged 3.54 million viewers, followed by Tucker Carlson Tonight with 3.39 million, Hannity with 2.94 million, The Five with 2.85 million and The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell with 2.56 million. In the 25-54 demo, Maddow was on top with 567,000, followed by Carlson at 515,000, Anderson Cooper 360 with 480,000, Cuomo Prime Time at 466,000 and Hannity with 435,000.

The figures are from Nielsen via Fox News and MSNBC.

All the networks highlighted milestones: MSNBC said that this was the first time they have been #1 in all of cable for total day viewers, which is the 6 AM-6AM time period, Monday through Sunday. CNN said it had its most watched February in primetime and total day viewers. Fox News said that it was number one in all of cable primetime so far this year.

In daytime (9 AM to 4 PM), MSNBC topped total viewers with an average of 1.53 million, followed by CNN with 1.51 million and Fox News with 1.39 million. CNN was up 92% compared to the previous year, MSNBC rose 51% and Fox News was down by 35%. In the 25-54 demo, CNN topped with an average of 345,000, followed by MSNBC with 231,000 and Fox News with 208,000.

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