MSNBC Has Best Week Since it Launched in 1996

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MSNBC was the most-watched network across all of television in total viewers for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, delivering the network’s highest-rated week ever in prime, and unseating CNN from the 2016 most-watched position, according to Nielsen.

MSNBC drew a record 4.8M average during the four nights of coverage sweeping all competitors by at least 700K viewers (vs. FOX News’ 3.5M, CNN’s 4.1M, ABC News’ 2.6M and CBS News’ 2M).

This was the highest-rated week on MSNBC since the network launched in 1996 for the M-F 8pm-11pm, M-Su 8pm-11pm and M-F 10pm-11pm dayparts. Prime coverage of the 2020 DNC on MSNBC grew more than the competition (+27%) versus the 2016 DNC, while CNN was down (-20%) and FOX News was up (+12%).

At 10pm, MSNBC averaged 5.8M viewers for the week and was the only network to gain over 2016, up +23%, while FOX News (-19%) and CNN (-21%) were down compared to the DNC in 2016.

On the final night (Aug. 20) of the DNC, MSNBC ranked #1 in total viewers from 10pm-11pm, averaging 6.1M, outperforming CNN in total viewers by almost +600K (+11%), ABC News by +3.2M (+106%), CBS News by +4.1M (+209%), and FOX News by +3.2M (+109%). Among A25-54 viewers, MSNBC averaged 1.2M, beating ABC News by over +400K, CBS News by over +750K and FOX News by over +600K.

In A25-54, MSNBC drew 913K viewers for prime for the week and 1.155M at 10pm.

Compared to the 2016 DNC, MSNBC increased viewership among Women 18+ (+41% vs. CNN’s -16% and FOX News +14%).

Rachel Maddow, Joy Reid, Nicolle Wallace and Brian Williams led MSNBC’s special Decision 2020 convention coverage along with Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell and Ari Melber.