Ferguson Coverage Hands MSNBC Huge Late Night Demo Ratings Boost

It wasn’t quite a worst-to-first kind of jump — but it was close

Police in riot gear watch over a protest in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 13, 2014 (Getty Images)
Police in riot gear watch over a protest in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 13, 2014 (Getty Images)

MSNBC reaped the ratings benefits of covering the protests and fall-out in Ferguson, Mo., live across Wednesday’s late night time period (11 p.m. – 1 a.m.).

The cable news channel’s ratings jumped 244 percent versus the prior four Wednesdays, and 139 percent against its third quarter Wednesday average in the key 25-54 demo.

Gains against MSNBC’s Monday-Friday averages were lower, but still at roughly triple-digit percentage growth.

See photos: Spike Lee’s Ferguson Protest: Banner for Murdered Michael Brown

MSNBC had pulled in 62,000 viewers in the demo over the last four Wednesdays, and averaged 89,000 thus far for Wednesday’s late night throughout Q3.

Last night, however, it got 213,000 viewers — good for second place against the competition.

Fox News still won with 272,000 viewers in the demo, a number that was essentially flat in both comparisons.

Also read: Obama Condemns Police Violence, Journalists’ Arrest in Ferguson

Third-place CNN saw solid gains itself, with a 32 percent boost versus the past four Wednesdays and a 26 percent increase when measured against the quarter. Typically, however, CNN gets the strongest push during times of breaking news.

CNN was also live and covering the situation in Missouri.

Fourth-place HLN’s numbers dipped double-digits last night in both comparisons. HLN did not cover the Ferguson situation live.

Also read: Robin Williams Death Coverage Pushes CNN to First Demo Win Over ‘O’Reilly’ Since Malaysia Crash

In the late-night, the standard night sees Fox News winning the demo, HLN is second, CNN third and MSNBC fourth.

Both CNN and MSNBC saw double digit percentage gains in primetime (8 p.m. – 11 p.m.) as well.

While the Ferguson protests have been going on for days — ever since unarmed 18-year-old African-American teenager, Michael Brown,was shot and killed by the police on Aug. 9 — TV news and social media coverage really began to get momentum and top billing during the latter part of primetime last night and beyond.