LEAN FORWARD: MSNBC Tops Cable News Ratings on First Night of DNC

msnbc logoNBC Universal put out a press release today that shows MSNBC had its first #1 night of prime time cable news coverage in its 16-year existence. MSNBC averaged 2.35 million viewers from 7pm to 2am. They hit their high for the night at 4.1 million viewers during the 10pm hour when First Lady Michelle Obama delivered her speech to the convention crowd.

NEW YORK – September 5, 2012 – On the first night of the Democratic National Convention, MSNBC topped the cable news competition in primetime in both total viewers and the key demo A25-54. This is the first time in the history of the network that MSNBC had been #1 in cable news for a full night of convention coverage.

For the full night of primetime coverage (7p-2a), MSNBC averaged 2.35 million total viewers and 791,000 A25-54. CNN had 2.08 million total viewers and 738,000 A25-54 and FNC had 1.78 million total viewers and 441,000 A25-54, according to the Nielsen Fast Nationals.

At 10p, when First Lady Michelle Obama delivered her DNC speech, MSNBC hit an hourly high of 4.1 million total viewers and 1.43 million in A25-54. CNN was second at 10 p.m. with 3.88 million total viewers and 1.36 A25-54 and FNC was third with 2.39 million total viewers and 550,00 A25-54. MSNBC also beat CBS and ABC at 10 p.m. - CBS had 3.28 million total viewers and 1.061 million A25-54, ABC had 3.26 million total viewers and 1.15 million A25-54. NBC was the #1 broadcast network with 5.0 million total viewers and 1.91 million A25-54.

MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention was hosted by Rachel Maddow with Chris Matthews joined by Ed Schultz, Lawrence O’Donnell, Rev. Al Sharpton, Chris Hayes and campaign strategist Steve Schmidt. Contributors included Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, Alex Wagner, Former RNC chairman Michael Steele, Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, Frm. Gov. Ed Rendell, and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.

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