MSNBC stakes claim in cable news

Beats Fox, CNN in adults 25-54 on Tuesday

NEW YORK -- Tuesday was a very, very good night for MSNBC.

The cable news channel beat both Fox News Channel and CNN in the adults 25-54 demographic, Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday. MSNBC averaged 786,000 viewers in the demo between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET, compared with CNN's 710,000 and Fox News Channel's 672,000. But Fox News Channel was still top dog in viewership with 2.8 million viewers to CNN's 1.9 million and MSNBC's 1.9 million.

"Countdown With Keith Olbermann" had its best ratings for a regular show ever, in first place in the demo and second place to "The O'Reilly Factor" in viewership. "Countdown" averaged 935,000 viewers in the demo with "The O'Reilly Factor" averaging 742,000 and CNN's "Election Center" averaged 583,000. "The O'Reilly Factor" had 3.4 million viewers to "Countdown's" 2.2 million and "Election Center's" 1.5 million.

Meanwhile, "The Rachel Maddow Show" was in second place in viewership against "Hannity & Colmes" but in first place in adults 25-54, as was the Chris Matthews-hosted "Hardball" against "The Fox Report" at 7 p.m.