CNN POSTS BIG GAINS IN MAY VS. LAST YEAR
June 2nd, 2015
02:15 PM ET

CNN POSTS BIG GAINS IN MAY VS. LAST YEAR

NETWORK HAS BIGGEST INCREASE AMONG TOP 35 CABLE NETS

CNN Remains Firmly Ahead of MSNBC in all Categories; Has Largest Primetime Demo Advantage Over MSNBC in Years 

New Day tops MSNBC’s Morning Joe; Erin Burnett Outfront & CNN Tonight Post Triple-Digit Growth 

CNN Original Series Momentum Continues 

CNN had big ratings gains in May with all dayparts (Total Day, M-Su/M-F primetime, daytime) up significantly from year-ago levels, posting the largest growth in cable news.  In Total Day, CNN saw the biggest increase in the demo 25-54 among the Top 35 cable networks.  CNN also ranked a solid #2 in cable news this month in all categories, registering impressive growth especially during M-F primetime  (Erin Burnett Outfront up +101%, AC 360 up +61%, CNN programming at 9pm up +78% and CNN Tonight up +107% – the most growth in primetime cable news).  MSNBC continued to lose viewers, decreasing double-digits among the demo 25-54 in all key dayparts. It registered its lowest Total Day and M-F primetime total viewer delivery since December 2007, and lowest M-Su primetime total viewer performance since June 2007.

As CNN remains firmly ahead of MSNBC, the network topped MSNBC for the 11th straight month in Total Day in both total viewers and the demo, and in M-Su/M-F primetime among 25-54, the longest streak across these dayparts and demos in over seven years (since Feb 2008).   CNN also registered its largest 25-54 advantage over MSNBC in primetime in over seven years (since Feb 2008).

 

CLICK CHART BELOW TO VIEW IN FULL-SIZEMay ratings

 

CNN Program Highlights: 

  • CNN’s New Day (6-9am) beat Morning Joe in the key demo (120k vs. 77k) this month.  New Day has now topped Joe for the 11th straight month among 25-54, the longest streak since the program’s debut in June 2013.  The CNN program also saw the most growth in cable news in the morning, increasing +23% in total viewers and +50% in the demo 25-54 vs. a year ago, while MSNBC lost -21% of its audience in the key demo.  Morning Joe has now ranked 4th in the demo 25-54 for 11 straight months, posting its 2nd lowest delivery in over seven years (since Oct 2007).
  • The Lead with Jake Tapper (4pm) ranked #2 in cable news at 4pm, easily topping MSNBC in both total viewers (543k vs. MSNBC’s 307k) and the demo 25-54 (150k vs. 49k).  The Lead was also up +53% in total viewers and +79% in the demo in May, while MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner lost -12% of its audience among total viewers and was down -33% in the demo.
  • The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (5-7pm) ranked #2 in cable news in total viewers (584k vs. MSNBC’s 470k) and in the demo 25-54 (184k vs. 67k). The Situation Room was up +41% in total viewers and +64% in the demo vs. a year ago, while MSNBC was down -12%/-46%.
  • Erin Burnett Outfront (7pm) continued to beat MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews in the demo this month (209k vs. 115k).  EBOF also had significant audience growth compared to a year ago, increasing +71% in total viewers and by triple-digits in the key demo 25-54 rating (+101%).  Hardball was down in both total viewers (-14%) and the demo (-18%).
  • Anderson Cooper 360 (8pm) ranked #2 in cable news, easily topping MSNBC’s All in with Chris Hayes in both total viewers (677k vs. 500k) and the demo 25-54 rating (235k vs. 107k).  AC 360 increased +48% in total viewers and +61% vs. a year ago; while MSNBC declined -12%/-16% respectively.  All In, which debuted in April 2013, is seeing its second lowest monthly total viewer and demo 25-54 delivery on record.
  • CNN programming at 9pm ranked #2 in the demo rating (224k) this month, with MSNBC’s flagship primetime program The Rachel Maddow Show ranking #3 (145k). Maddow, which launched in September 2008, is registering its third lowest monthly 25-54 delivery and its second lowest total viewer performance on record.
  • CNN Tonight with Don Lemon posted triple-digit growth in the demo (+107%) this month, the most growth in primetime cable news, and double-digit growth among total viewers (+86%). In May, CNN topped MSNBC at 10pm in total viewers (639k vs. 437k) and in the demo (253k vs. 121k).
  • Smerconish grew vs. a year ago and topped MSNBC in total viewers and the demo at both 9am and 6pm on Saturdays.
  • CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow ranked #1 on Saturdays during the 3-5pm hours in the demo 25-54. The show was also up each hour in total viewers and the demo compared to last year.
  • Fareed Zakaria GPS grew vs. last year, ranking #2 ahead of MSNBC in both total viewers and the demo 25-54 at 10am and 1pm on Sundays.
  • Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter had the most growth in cable news at 11am on Sunday mornings, increasing +38% in total viewers and +53% in the demo 25-54.  RS ranked #2 this month, with a +87% advantage over MSNBC in total viewers (486k vs. 260k) and a +125% lead among 25-54 (135k vs. 60k).  MSNBC was down at 11am -6%/-30% respectively.  

CNN Original Series Highlights: 

  • Season 2 to-date, Somebody’s Gotta Do It with Mike Rowe ranks #2 in the demo 25-54 across cable news in its time period, beating MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show by +45%.  SGDI attracts the youngest audience across cable news in its time period.  The program increased from live to most current (includes live+3 or live+7) by +62% among 25-54 (240k vs. 148k) and +45% in total viewers (577k vs. 397k).
  • Season 5 to-date, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown ranks #1 across cable news in its time period among both 25-54 and 18-34, outperforming the combined delivery of Fox News and MSNBC in both demos.  Every premiere episode to-date of Parts Unknown in Season 5 has also ranked #1 across cable news in its time period among both 25-54 and 18-34.  The program increased from live to most current (includes live+3 or live+7) by +90% among 25-54 (399k vs. 210k), +58% in total viewers (771k vs. 489k) and +128% among 18-34 (153k vs. 67k).
  • Season 1 to-date, High Profits ranks #1 across cable news in its time period among both 25-54 and 18-34, delivering the combined performance of Fox News and MSNBC in the younger demo.  HP ranks #2 in total viewers.  The program increased from live to most current (includes live+3 or live+7) by +41% among 25-54 (224k vs. 159k) and +27% in total viewers (435k vs. 342k).

Data is a blend of Nielsen Live+SD and the more inclusive Live+3 and final Live+7 data when available (or otherwise noted).

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