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What Channel Is MSNBC on DirecTV? (2024 Update)

MSNBC logo.

What Channel Is MSNBC on DirecTV? (2024 Update)

Key Points

  • MSNBC is a prominent American cable news channel that offers national, global, and breaking news bulletins.
  • MSNBC was founded in 1996 as a collaboration between Microsoft and NBC to provide a progressive alternative to other cable networks.
  • MSNBC programming includes morning shows like Way Too Early and Morning Joe, daytime news programs, and evening shows hosted by charismatic hosts.
  • CNBC is a separate cable television network focused on business and financial news, providing up-to-date information about finances and covering topics related to the business world.

Interested in finding out what’s going on in the world around you but unsure of which channel to turn to? MSNBC is one possible station to find national, global, and other significant breaking news bulletins. This leaves one question, however: What channel is MSNBC? The answer will vary depending on who your cable or satellite provider is. Let’s focus on one of the biggest names in the business: DirecTV. What channel is MSNBC on DirecTV? We’ll help you pin down the answer so you can get to watching.

Best for Families
Best Overall
Best Budget Option
From $4.99.mo.
From $64.99/mo.
$25/month
Description:

Pick your choice of ESPN+, Hulu, and Disney Plus. Plans start as low as $4.99/month for ESPN+ only.

Description:

Free trial available. Watch 75+ channels, including local channels and special premium channel offers.

Description:

Take a 7-day free trial and stream more than 70 channels live. Record your favorites with unlimited DVR.


Best for Families
From $4.99.mo.
Description:

Pick your choice of ESPN+, Hulu, and Disney Plus. Plans start as low as $4.99/month for ESPN+ only.

Best Overall
From $64.99/mo.
Description:

Free trial available. Watch 75+ channels, including local channels and special premium channel offers.

Best Budget Option
$25/month
Description:

Take a 7-day free trial and stream more than 70 channels live. Record your favorites with unlimited DVR.


MSNBC Channel Guide

Channel NameDirecTV Channel Number
MSNBC356

The History of MSNBC

Comcast/NBCUniversal building.
NBCUniversal, the company behind MSNBC, is owned by Comcast.

MSNBC began as a group effort between Microsoft and the National Broadcasting Corporation. Founded in 1996, the station has become a prominent American cable news channel on par with CNN or Fox News. Understandably, word of a collaboration between such major entities — tech giant Microsoft and leading broadcaster NBC — garnered plenty of attention back in the mid-90s. The primary goal behind the network’s creation was to offer viewers a distinctly progressive alternative to the news coverage provided by other cable networks. 

Despite its progressive mission, MSNBC debuted as something much more down the middle. Journalists and commentators from both sides of the aisle were given key slots on MSNBC’s daily lineup, leading to conflicting claims of bias from the left and the right. Given this unique angle, MSNBC is perhaps best known for its opinionated political commentary and analysis. It has played a significant role in shaping the national political discourse by offering a space for discussion and debate on issues important to its predominantly progressive audience.

Microsoft removed itself from the equation in 2005, less than a decade after helping to launch the news network. NBC bought out the company’s percent shares in chunks. Once-strong viewership began to decline over the decade that followed. In 2015, the network attempted to gain back some of its viewership by shifting from opinionated coverage to more neutral news reporting based on hard facts instead of analysis from one party’s perspective or another. However, like its rival networks, evening programs remained rooted in a particular political leaning.

MSNBC Sister Stations

CNBC
CNBC World
NBC

MSNBC Programming

Still from Morning Joe on MSNBC.

Morning Joe

is one of MSNBC’s most popular news talk programs.

MSNBC offers a diverse range of programming throughout the morning, afternoon, and night. As such, the kind of network programming you encounter will depend on what time of day you’re watching. Across the board, though, one thing remains clear: MSNBC programming caters to a wide range of interests. From its morning programs to its daytime news roundups to its evening talk shows, here’s what types of shows you’re most likely to encounter on MSNBC on any given day of the week.

Mornings

First thing in the morning, MSNBC starts the day with Way Too Early. Hosted by Jonathan Lemire, the hourlong program touches on the previous day’s top stories before looking ahead to what’s going on in the news during the day to come. After that, it’s Morning Joe

Hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the show combines news, politics, and lively discussions. Morning Joe is popular among early risers seeking in-depth analysis and interviews with key newsmakers. It sets the tone for the day’s political discourse, not unlike other competitors’ morning news shows.

Daytime

During the daytime, MSNBC provides a mix of news and talk shows. It all starts with Ana Cabrera Reports, then leads into José Díaz-Balart Reports and Andrea Mitchell Reports. Each of these three daytime news programs runs an hour in length. Then, it’s two hours of Chris Jansing Reports

As you can see, MSNBC sticks to a format during the day: An anchor’s name, followed by “Reports.” Later in the day, there’s Katy Tur Reports and Deadline: White House. Across the board, these daytime shows provide in-depth interviews and political reporting, providing viewers with unbiased insights into current events.

Evenings

In the evening, MSNBC offers a different lineup of shows that delve into politics, commentary, and investigative reporting from the perspective of its charismatic hosts. The Beat With Ari Melber begins the evening news block, followed by The ReidOut and All In With Chris Hayes.

Alex Wagner Tonight follows after that, then leads into The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell. The 11th Hour With Stephanie Ruhle occupies the space formerly held by Brian Williams before his recent retirement. You may also occasionally see seasonal programs in the evenings revolving around elections or debate coverage.

What About CNBC?

CNBC logo.
MSNBC is not to be confused with its similarly named sister station CNBC.

If you tend to confuse MSNBC and CNBC, you’re definitely not alone. CNBC is an American cable television network primarily focused on business and financial news. It was established in 1989 and is owned by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. According to this timeline, CNBC actually precedes MSNBC by seven years or so. Unlike MSNBC, which exists to report national and world news, the primary purpose of CNBC is to provide viewers with up-to-date information about finances.

Broadly speaking, CNBC coverage can range from the global financial markets to Wall Street investing, American economics to worldwide developments, and numerous other topics related to the business world. The network offers live coverage of stock market activities, interviews with business leaders and experts, and the analysis of global economic trends. If it has anything to do with money or financials, then it’s likely going to get covered on CNBC. It’s right there in the name: the Consumer News and Business Channel.

CNBC’s programming includes flagship shows like Squawk Box, Closing Bell, and Mad Money with Jim Cramer. Each show features in-depth discussions of stocks, market trends, and useful financial strategies. The network also covers major economic events, such as Federal Reserve decisions and corporate earnings reports. MSNBC is your source for politics, world news, and general commentary, while CNBC is better suited for finance and economics news.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is MSNBC?

MSNBC is a news network that originated out of a collaboration between Microsoft and the National Broadcasting Corporation. It is a prominent American cable news channel on par with Fox News and CNN. It provides news, analysis, and commentary on a wide range of topics, with a primary focus on politics and current events.

What is MSNBC's political stance?

MSNBC is known for its progressive political perspective. It often features hosts and commentators who align with liberal and Democratic viewpoints but does not exclusively feature any party over another. All sides and perspectives in American politics are given room to speak on MSNBC.

What are some popular MSNBC shows?

MSNBC’s flagship morning show is titled Morning Joe. It blends news, politics, and discussions, setting the agenda for the day’s political discourse. The 11th Hour is MSNBC’s late-night news program, covering essential stories in the world and their impact on the day’s events. It used to be hosted by Brian Williams before his recent retirement.

What sets apart MSNBC and CNBC?

MSNBC has a broader focus on general news, covering a wide range of topics originating throughout America and the rest of the world. CNBC specializes exclusively in business and financial news, targeting investors and those interested in economics both domestically and abroad.

How does MSNBC rank compared to other news networks?

Year after year, MSNBC comes in after Fox News and CNN in terms of viewership. This is understandable, however, as progressive viewers are torn between MSNBC and CNN while conservative viewers really only have Fox News to turn to. When viewed in this light, the viewership is split — typically keeping Fox News on top as a result.

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