via press release:





September Ratings Highlights


  • CNN M-F primetime grows +46% (demo) and +34% (total viewers) compared to a year ago.
  • At 8 pm, Anderson Cooper 360 tops MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (demo); grows +36% while MSNBC drops -35%.
  • At 9 pm, Piers Morgan Tonight grows +18% (demo) while MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show is down -15% (demo).
  • At 10 pm, AC 360 tops MSNBC’s The Ed Show (demo and total viewers).
  • The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (6pm) tops MSNBC’s Politics Nation with Al Sharpton (demo); CNN grows while MSNBC loses viewers vs. year ago.
  • CNN tops MSNBC in total day (6a-6a) and dayside (9a-5p).
  • users consumed nearly 40 million pages of content and more than 2.5 million videos per day.


In September, CNN grew more than any cable news network — increasing +46% in M-F primetime in the key demo adults 25-54 (253k vs. 173k) and +34% among total viewers (769k vs. 574k) vs. last September (2010). 


CNN outperformed MSNBC in total day (6a-6a) among both total viewers (450k vs. 412k) and in the key demo 25-54 (148k vs. 143k). CNN also topped MSNBC during dayside (M-F 9a-5p) in total viewers (511k vs. 323k) and in 25-54 (147k vs. 85k).


  • At 8pm, CNN’s AC 360 topped MSNBC’s The Last Word in the key demo (212k vs. 185k) in September.  The CNN program was the only 8 pm show (among MSNBC and FNC) to post growth, increasing +36% among 25-54 vs. CNN programming a year ago (212k vs. 156k).  MSNBC decreased a staggering -35% (185k vs. 286k) and FNC’s O’Reilly Factor was down -14% (611k vs. 712k). In total viewers, AC 360 was up +37% (674k vs. 491k); MSNBC was down -22% (834k vs. 1.068m) and FNC was flat compared to last year.


  • Compared to its cable competitors (MSNBC and FNC), Piers Morgan Tonight was the only 9 pm program to grow vs. a year ago – increasing +18% in the key demo (193k vs. 164k), while Rachel Maddow Show was down -15% (246k vs. 289k) and Hannity was off -13%. Among total viewers Piers Morgan Tonight increased +6% (626k vs. 588k), MSNBC was down -17% (875k vs. 1.057m) and FNC was down -5%.


  • At 10 pm, AC 360 topped MSNBC’s The Ed Show/Docs in both total viewers (739k vs. 677k) and in the demo 25-54 (269k vs. 199k). CNN had strong ratings gains at 10pm compared to the other cable news networks – increasing +42% among 25-54 (269k vs. 190k) and +20% in total viewers (739k vs. 617k) vs. a year ago.  MSNBC’sThe Ed Show/Docs was up only +3% in the demo (199k vs. 194k), while FNC remained relatively flat, +1%.  In total viewers, MSNBC grew 17% (677k vs. 578k) and FNC increased just 6%.


  • The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer at 6 pm topped MSNBC’s Politics Nation with Al Sharpton in the key demo 25-54 (163k vs. 141k) in September.  In addition, the Blitzer-led program grew +19% in the demo (163k vs. 137k) and +22% among total viewers (590k vs. 483k) vs. last year.  Sharpton was down -24% in the demo (141k vs. 185k) and -15% in total viewers (599k vs. 708k) compared to MSNBC’s programming a year ago.


  • CNN Newsroom easily topped MSNBC during the dayside (9a-5p) in both total viewers and in the key demo 25-54.  Among total viewers, CNN averaged 511k, a 58% advantage over MSNBC’s 323k, and in 25-54, posted 147k, 73% more than MSNBC’s 85k.


  • In total day (6a-6a), CNN topped MSNBC in total viewers (450k vs. 412k) and in the demo 25-54 (148k vs. 143k) in September.  CNN also grew the most in total day vs. a year ago – increasing +16% among total viewers (450k vs. 389k) and +25% in the demo (148k vs. 118k).  MSNBC grew only 4% in total viewers (412k vs. 395k) and 2% in the demo (143k vs. 140k).  FNC was up 2% in total day/total viewers and was down -3% in total day/demo compared to a year ago.



CNN reached a cumulative audience of 96.6 million viewers in September.  MSNBC followed with 79.3 million and FNC dropped to third with 77.3 million.



CNN’s Third Quarter 2011 ratings will be released separately.



CNN DIGITAL users consumed nearly 40 million pages of content and more than 2.5 million videos per day so far in September.

Specifically, saw big gains in the U.S. Section, with a 61% increase in daily average page views in large part because of CNN’s 9/11 anniversary coverage.  Three of the top five articles in the section were about the 10th anniversary of 9/11, generating over 14.5 million page views. 

Some of the top stories of the month include:

  • 9/11 Ripple with 7.3 million page views, a visual interactive using artists illustrations of the ripple effect of Sept. 11, ranging from a global to a personal scale.
  • Terror in a Small Town with 3.8 million page views, an enterprise piece about a small-town murder’s top three blogs were This Just In, The Marquee Blog and The Political Ticker, contributing to traffic in September.  (Source: Omniture, through Sept. 25, 2011).


Posted by:TV By The Numbers

blog comments powered by Disqus