March 27th, 2012

CNN Tops MSNBC in primetime by double digits during 1st quarter 2012

AC 360 TOPS MSNBC’S LAST WORD AT 10PM FOR THE QUARTER

CNN Sees Solid Gains Compared to Last Quarter

First Quarter 2012 Highlights:

  • CNN tops MSNBC in M-F and M-Su primetime in the key demo for the first quarter 2012
  • AC 360 at 10pm tops MSNBC’s Last Word in the target demo 25-54
  • CNN tops MSNBC throughout dayside (9am-5pm)
  • CNN sees gains compared to last quarter (Q4 2011) — all of the cable news networks are down compared to the first quarter a year ago due to extensive coverage of theJapanearthquake/tsunami and Arab Spring

For the first quarter 2012, CNN topped MSNBC in Monday-Friday primetime (8-11pm) by double digits (+11%) in the key demographic 25-54 (276k vs. 248k).  This represents the first quarterly win over MSNBC in M-F prime in a year (since Q1 2011).  CNN also bested MSNBC in M-Su primetime this quarter in the key demo (256k vs. 237k).

Anderson Cooper 360 continued to show a strong ratings performance, topping MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell at 10pm in the key demo (254k vs. 219k).

During dayside programming (9am-5pm), CNN had a +28% advantage over MSNBC in the key demo 25-54 (120k vs. 94k) and outperformed MSNBC in total viewers (456k vs. 405k).

All the cable news networks were down compared to the first quarter a year ago (Q1 2011) due to extensive coverage of the Japanearthquake/tsunami and the Arab Spring.  However, compared to the fourth quarter 2011 CNN showed solid gains:

  • M-F prime – CNN grew +33% in the demo (276k vs. 207k) and +22% in total viewers (827k vs. 677k)
  • Total Day – CNN grew +14% in the demo (140k vs. 123k) and +8% in total viewers (435k vs. 404k)
  • Piers Morgan Tonight grew +11% in key demo (182k vs. 164k)
  • AC 360 at 10pm grew +19% in demo (254k vs. 213k)`
  • Erin Burnett Outfront at 11pm grew +5% in demo (147k vs. 140k).

CNN reached an average monthly cumulative audience of 91 million viewers during the first quarter 2012, FNC followed with 77 million and MSNBC had 74 million.

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