MSNBC continued its ratings free-fall in the second quarter with negative year-to-year comparisons in all major categories, for both total day and primetime.
Total viewership was down 5 percent in the total-day category and 17 percent in the total-day demo, placing the network a distant third behind a resurgent CNN.
The news was worse in primetime where the network shed 10 percent of its overall audience and 18 percent in the key 25-54 demo.
TOP CABLE-NEWS NETWORKS IN PRIMETIME
[The following numbers represent the average number of viewers watching at any one time during the designated period, e.g., Primetime.]
Fox News (301,000, up 14% from last year)
CNN (195,000, up 25%)
MSNBC (130,000, down 18%)
Fox News (1,603,000, up 1% from last year)
CNN (560,000, up 22%)
MSNBC (512,000, down 10%)
TOP CABLE NEWS NETWORKS IN TOTAL-DAY
(Live plus same-day)
Fox News (186,000, down 2% from last year)
CNN (138,000, up 31%)
MSNBC (85,000, down 17%)
Fox News (974,000, up 4% from last year)
CNN (431,000, up 26%)
MSNBC (318,000, down 5%)
MSNBC’s performance was in contrast to the growth at both CNN—where audience counts rose anywhere from 22 to 31 percent—and to Fox, which managed to increase it’s already large primetime demo viewership by an impressive 14 percent in the quarter.
As the 2016 presidential campaign season begins to heat up, MSNBC is hoping for a boost like it received in 2012. But with a revived CNN and an even stronger Fox News, they are likely to be disappointed, and face the possibility of falling even further behind.