CNN Moves Past MSNBC to Finish 2013 as #2 Rated Cable News Network
All CNN Primetime Programs are Up While FOX and MSNBC Programs are Down
2013 Marks Best Year in History for CNN Digital
For the first time in two years, CNN ended the year as the #2 rated cable news network, topping MSNBC in total day in total viewers (414k vs. 397k). Also this year, CNN’s audience levels remained steady compared to 2012, while both FOX and MSNBC were down double-digits this year. Among all of CNN’s properties, HLN’s rating grew strongly this year vs. a year ago and CNN Digital had its best year in history.
In total day (6am-6am) CNN ratings remained even this year vs. a year ago in total viewers (414k vs. 416k) and in the demo 25-54 (132k vs.134k). MSNBC lost close to a quarter of its audience in 2013 vs. last year, down -21% in total viewers (397k vs. 500k) and -20% in the demo rating (133k vs. 167k). Without the series “Lock Up” and “Caught on Camera,” etc. MSNBC ratings fall even more dramatically, from 133k to 117k. FOX was off -5% in total viewers and down -18% in the demo 25-54 in 2013. Also, CNN narrowed the gap with FOX by a third from 140k (134k vs. 274k) to 93k (132k vs. 225k) among adults 25-54 vs. the same period a year ago.
While all of CNN’s individual primetime programs showed ratings increases in 2013, all cable news network’s 8-11pm time period ratings are down compared to 2012 — largely due to each network’s presidential election programming, which had high viewership from debates and election night. As a result, all the networks are posting primetime time period lows vs. a year ago, with Fox posting its lowest prime time total viewer delivery since 2007 and lowest prime demo 25-54 performance in 12 years (since 2001). MSNBC registered its lowest prime time total viewer delivery since 2007 and lowest 25-54 delivery since 2007 in M-Su Prime and since 2006 in M-F Prime. Though CNN finished third in prime, it ended 2013 closer to MSNBC than it has in years. CNN’s key programs grew their audiences this year, while the FOX and MSNBC marquee programs are all down:
–“Erin Burnett Outfront” at 7pm grew double-digits this year, increasing +10% in total viewers (498k vs. 453k) and +15% in the demo 25-54 rating (159k vs.138k). MSNBC’s “Hardball” was down -16% in total viewers and -18% in the demo and FOX’s 7pm programming was down -4%/-24% respectively.
–“AC 360” at 8pm ended the year in second place in the demo 25-54 and is the highest rated weekday show on CNN. The program is up +18% in total viewers (648k vs. 549k) and +19% in the demo rating (201k vs. 169k). MSNBC at 8pm declined -31% in total viewers this year and is down -27% in the key demo; while FOX is down -5% in total viewers and -22% in the demo at 8pm.
–“Piers Morgan Live” at 9pm is up +1% in total viewers (597k vs. 590k) and grew +2% in the demo this year (173k vs. 170k). MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” had sharp declines in 2013, decreasing -24% in total viewers and -27% in the demo. FOX’s 9pm programming is down -10%/-24%.
–CNN’s 10pm programming (various shows) ranks #2 in the key 25-54 demo this year, while all the cable news networks (except HLN) are down during this time period vs. a year ago.
CNN’s morning show “New Day” narrowed the gap with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” by more than half from 80k (105k vs. 185k) to just 33k (99k vs. 132k) among adults 25-54 vs. the same period a year ago. “New Day” is also the only weekday morning show across the cable news landscape to post year-over-year growth in total viewers (+11%) since the program’s launch in June.
CNN’s weekday Washington-based programming saw rating highlights this year — with “The Lead with Jake Tapper” placing second during the 4pm time period in both total viewers and in the key demo 25-54. “The Situation Room” at 5pm also ranked #2 in cable news in the demo rating and the show grew +4% in total viewers and +9% in the demo vs. a year ago. CNN programming from 6:30-7:00pm (which includes “Crossfire” since Sept. 9) is up +3% in total viewers and +15% in the demo; while MSNBC was down -19%/-20% and FOX is flat/ down -21% respectively during that half-hour time period.
“CNN Newsroom” (9am-4pm) easily topped MSNBC this year, placing second in cable news among total viewers (493k vs. 351k) and in the demo rating (139k vs. 97k). “Newsroom” also grew +11% in total viewers and +10% in the demo this year; while MSNBC was down -19% in total viewers and is off -18% in the demo 25-54. FOX is down -2% and -14% respectively during the day.
In addition, CNN successfully embarked on a new strategy of taped programming, to strong results. Two seasons of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” aired on CNN this year. During season one (April-June) and season two (September-November) the program’s Sunday 9pm premiere episode ranked as the #1 regularly scheduled weekend program across all cable news networks among adults 25-54.
Also, the new CNN Films banner increased the network’s audience levels this year during their collective time-period, led by the highly-acclaimed “Blackfish”. The six CNN Films premieres of 2013, which included “Blackfish”, “Escape Fire”, and “Our Nixon”, all grew from their time-period’s prior 4 week average among adults 25-54. “CNN Films: Blackfish” was the #1 cable news program on the day it premiered (10/24) among the key demo 25-54, with younger viewers 18-49 tuning in in large numbers (688k). The premiere posted CNN’s youngest median age for a prime program in over a decade (40 years old). Across all airings, “Blackfish” reached 21 million total viewers and 7.8 million adults 25-54.
The premiere of “The Assassination of President Kennedy” ranked as the top cable news program in its time-period and the most-watched non-fiction cable program commemorating the event. The premiere ranked #1 on cable news from 9-11p on November 14th among P25-54. Across all airings, the “Assassination of President Kennedy” reached 21 million total viewers and 8.2 mm adults 25-54.
CNN Original Series such as “Parts Unknown”, “Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man”, and “The Assassination of President Kennedy” and CNN Films like “Blackfish” all saw impressive levels of time-shifted viewing in their 2013 premieres.
• “Parts Unknown” Seasons 1 & 2: +62% Live to Live + 7 Increase
• “Inside Man” Season 1: +50%
• “JFK Assassination” 11/14: +23%
• “Blackfish” 10/24: +40%
Full Year Nielsen media research data is from 12/31/12-12/29/13
· CNN Digital’s total global page views across desktop, mobile web, and the CNN Apps reached their highest level ever in 2013, averaging 2.4B monthly page views for the year-to-date.
· CNN Digital’s YTD global video starts across all platforms have reached their highest level ever this year, averaging 151 mm monthly video starts.
Source(s): Adobe Reports & Analytics, Jan – Nov, for desktop. Adobe Reports & Analytics and Bango, Jan – Nov, for mobile.
· CNN Digital Network on Mobile reached its biggest audience ever in 2013, averaging 29 mm monthly uniques for the year-to-date.
· CNN page views across U.S. mobile web and apps have reached their highest level on record, averaging 739 mm page views for YTD.
· Averaging 27 mm monthly video starts across U.S. mobile web and apps, CNN VoD reached its highest level ever in 2013.
Source(s): Nielsen Mobile MediaView, Jan – Oct, for uniques. Note: Records go back to Jan ’07. Adobe Reports & Analytics and Bango, Jan – Nov, for mobile.
CNN.com Social Referrals
· Up 69% from 2012 (64 mm), CNN’s 2013 social referrals have reached their highest mark on record at 107 mm for the year to-date.
Source(s): Adobe Reports & Analytics, Jan – Nov’ 13 vs. Jan – Nov ’12.