MSNBC ratings top Fox News for first time in 18 years

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MSNBC’s viewership last week propelled the network to its first No. 1 cable news network “sales day” rating in 18 years, NBCUniversal announced.

The network averaged 1.56 million total viewers from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. in the Dec. 17-21 business week — ahead of Fox News’ 1.54 million and CNN’s 975,000.

A Fox News spokesperson noted that the network beat MSNBC in the ratings for Dec. 17-23, which includes the weekend. According to Nielsen data, Fox News averaged 1.23 million viewers across that time frame, compared to 1.16 million for MSNBC.

MSNBC beat Fox News Monday through Friday last week in the crucial demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds — for the first time since Oct. 8, 2001, the network said, citing Nielsen data.

And it boasted the most-watched program on cable news last week, “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which drew an average of 3.21 million viewers.

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