MSNBC just received a nice little Christmas present.
According to Nielsen, the Place for Politics finished the week of December 17th as the most-watched cable news network as it beat the competition in both total viewership and the key 25-54 demographic for the weekday sales day (6 AM – 2 AM). This was the first time MSNBC had defeated Fox News in the time period demo since October 2001, and total audience since November 2000.
The network, which had recently overtaken Fox News in the weekday primetime ratings, delivered 1.558 million total viewers during the M-F 6 AM – 2 AM time slot last week. In comparison, Fox News averaged 1.541 million viewers overall and CNN pulled in 975,000.
In the demo, MSNBC attracted 269,000 viewers while CNN nabbed 268,000 and Fox captured 259,000. This was the biggest demo audience for MSNBC since July 2001 and the first time the network has finished third in the metric since October 2001.
For the fourth straight week, MSNBC placed first in both weekday primetime total viewers and the key demo, drawing 2.578 million viewers overall and 471,000 in the demographic. Fox News placed third in the demo (355,000) and averaged 2.240 million total viewers. CNN grabbed a total audience of 1.398 million and 415,000 in the 25-54 metric.
MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show was the top-rated cable news program of the week, leading in both the demo (621,000) and total viewership (3.213 million).