Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC experienced gigantic ratings growth the first quarter of 2016 as MSNBC’s primetime audience grew more than twice as fast as Fox News.
MSNBC’s primetime programming (M-F 8-11p) delivered strong growth for the quarter. In the A25-54 demo, MSNBC was up 112%, while Fox News grew 48% over the first quarter of 2015. “The Rachel Maddow Show” edged out CNN’s regular programming in A25-54 (279,000 vs. 277,000) and topped CNN in total viewers (1,166,000 vs. 877,000).”The Rachel Maddow Show” was up 92% in A25-54 and 48% in total viewers over the first quarter of 2015.
What MSNBC did was impressive. For the first time Fox News was the most watched basic cable network in both daytime and primetime, so for MSNBC to be growing faster than the most watched network on basic cable is quite an accomplishment.
Rachel Maddow’s show remains the centerpiece of the MSNBC primetime lineup. It is also one of the few shows remaining on cable news that discusses current events from a leftward perspective. CNN has been boosted by its 2016 election coverage, so Maddow’s defeat of Anderson Cooper 360 by almost 300,000 viewers speaks volumes about the quality of her program.
To put Maddow’s ratings growth into proper context, Fox News’ primetime was up 50% with viewers age 25-54, which means that Rachel Maddow’s show grew faster that Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly, and Sean Hannity combined.
MSNBC is the smallest and least available of the three cable news networks, but after a disastrous 2015, Rachel Maddow is leading the network to stellar presidential election cycle ratings early on in 2016.