Rachel Maddow and Brian Williams’ SOTU Pre- and Post-Analysis Beat CNN in Total Viewers as MSNBC Beats CNN During the President’s Speech and Democratic Response

MSNBC’s Extended Analysis Anchored by Chris Matthews and Ari Melber Lead CNN in Total Viewers

“Morning Joe's” SOTU Coverage and Analysis Doubles CNN in Total Viewers

More Viewers Turn to MSNBC than CNN During Dayside (9am-5pm) and Every Hour from 5am-3am

NEW YORK (February 6, 2019) – On Tuesday, February 5th, MSNBC delivered its highest-rated State of the Union coverage ever, beating CNN during the State of the Union pre-analysis (8-9pm), President Trump’s address (9-10:30pm), the Democratic response from Stacey Abrams (10:40-10:50pm), and the State of the Union post-analysis (11pm-2am) among total viewers, per Nielsen. Additionally, more viewers turned to MSNBC than CNN for every hour between 5am-3am on Tuesday.

MSNBC’s pre-speech and post-speech analysis, helmed by Rachel Maddow and Brian Williams (8-9pm and 11pm-12am), dominated CNN in total viewers. MSNBC’s pre-analysis averaged 2.6M total viewers (vs. CNN’s 1.7M) and was up +33% over 2018. In post-analysis, MSNBC averaged 3.2M total viewers (vs. CNN’s 2.3M) and was up +8% over 2018. During the President’s speech, MSNBC averaged 3.8M total viewers (vs. CNN’s 3.4M), a record for MSNBC. The address was up +42% over 2018. During the Democratic response by Stacey Abrams, MSNBC averaged 4.7M total viewers (vs. CNN’s 3.3M) and was up +42% over the 2018 Democratic response. MSNBC’s primetime coverage began at 8pm with Maddow and Williams anchoring from New York, joined throughout the night by Nicolle Wallace, Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell, Ari Melber, Joy Reid, Steve Kornacki, Stephanie Ruhle, Eugene Robinson, Michael Steele, and more.

Continuing coverage with Chris Matthews at 12am also rated highly, beating CNN in total viewers (1.8M vs. CNN’s 1.1M). MSNBC’s late-night coverage and analysis led by Ari Melber from 1-2am continued to top CNN in total viewers (1.2M vs. CNN’s 768,000).

“Morning Joe” (6-9am) with Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist kicked off MSNBC’s in-depth analysis and coverage Tuesday morning, doubling CNN in total viewers during the time period (1.2M vs. CNN’s 509,000).

During dayside (9am-5pm), MSNBC topped CNN among total viewers during the daypart (1.1M vs. CNN’s 720,000). Every MSNBC program bested CNN among total viewers.

Note: Nielsen ratings data for February 5, 2019.


For more information contact:

Lorie Acio

o: 212-664-6733


Maggie Hollander

o: (212) 664-7003