MSNBC Beats CNN, Fox News in Weekly Primetime Ratings for the First Time

Rachel Maddow / Getty Images
• May 23, 2017 12:06 pm


MSNBC beat out its cable news rivals during primetime last week in the key 25-54 demographic and in total viewership for the first time in the network's 21-year existence, according to Nielsen Research.

MSNBC finished second in all of basic cable behind TNT, which aired several NBA playoff games, the Hill reported.

Fox News finished third in primetime for the first time in nearly 17 years.

For the week of May 15, MSNBC's weekday prime averaged 2.440 million total viewers, with Fox second with 2.405 million and CNN third with 1.649 million.

For adults aged 25-54, MSNBC averaged 611,000 viewers. CNN finished second with 589,000 and Fox third with 497,000.

CNN and MSNBC have been competing with their coverage of President Donald Trump's recent controversies, including the investigation into alleged collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian officials.

This is the first time that Fox News has come in third place behind CNN and MSNBC during the work week in primetime since June 2000.

CNN came in first place during the 8 p.m. time slot and MSNBC came in first place during the 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. time slots, according to the Hill.

In terms of individual programs, "The Rachel Maddow Show" at 9 p.m. continued its ratings roll, finishing as the most-watched non-sports program for the week in all of basic cable.

Lawrence O'Donnell, who is still reportedly in negotiations with the network with his contract set to expire on June 4, was second overall in the cable news race for the week with "The Last Word" at 10 p.m.

Anderson Cooper led the way for CNN, winning his 8 p.m. slot for "AC 360" for five straight days last week over Fox and MSNBC. It marked the first time CNN had such a streak since right after the September 11th attacks at that hour.

Fox is still winning for the month of May overall, averaging 2.3 million total viewers and 459,000 in the 25-54 demographic.