Sunday Show Ratings: July 24 and July 2016 Sweeps

By A.J. Katz 

It was a pretty good day for three of broadcast’s Sunday public affairs shows. CBS’ Face the Nation with John Dickerson was the most-watched show of the bunch on July 24, and improved by 26 percent in total viewers. FTN finished No. 3 in the news demo once again, but still managed to improve by 10 percent in the demo compared to the same week in 2015. The July 24 episode started with an excerpt of the first joint interview with Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine that aired on 60 Minutes on Sunday night. Next, the show aired an interview Dickerson taped with President Obama on Friday, July 22.

NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd once again finished No. 1 among viewers from the key news demo. MTP improved 17.5 percent in total viewers and a solid 29 percent in the key A25-54 demo compared to the same Sunday in 2015, which featured interviews with Bernie Sanders and John Kasich. This past episode featured an interview with Donald Trump, a figure who often delivers stronger-than-average numbers in the news demo.

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos finished No. 2 in the news demo, and earned its largest advantage over Face the Nation in that category since the final week of 2015. For the 5th consecutive week, This Week built on the year-ago Sunday average in total viewers (+15 percent), but fell 1 percent in the news demo compared to the same week in 2015.

Fox News Sunday was the only English language Sunday public affairs show to fall from the same Sunday in 2015, falling 5.5 percent in total viewers and down 19 percent in the news demo versus the same Sunday in 2015. The program delivered a combined 2,761,000 total viewers and 634,000 adults 25-54, figures which include one cable replay at 2 p.m. ET.

Editor’s Note: Face the Nation’s second half-hour was broadcast contiguously across 78.31% of the CBS affiliates.

The numbers for July 24:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS Face the Nation 3.50 M 740,000
NBC Meet the Press 3.38 M 1.06 M
ABC This Week 3.04 M 855,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1.20 M 326,000
UNIV Al Punto  N/A  N/A

It should come as no surprise that each of the four English language Sunday public affairs show were significantly up versus July 2015 Sweep. Face the Nation, which was the most-watched show during the Sweep period, was up 23 percent in total viewers and improved 29 percent in the news demo. Meet the Press, which dominated the competition in the news demo, improved by a whopping 41 percent in the demo and +26 percent in total viewers year-over-year. This Week, which drew its largest July total audience in 19 years, was up 11 percent in total viewers and up 3 percent in the news demo versus July 2015, while Fox News Sunday improved 10 percent in total viewers and +7 percent in the news demo year-over-year.

The numbers for July 2016 Sweep:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS Face the Nation 3.31 M 787,000
NBC Meet the Press 3.25 M 1.01 M
ABC This Week 2.98 M 851,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1.38 M 399,000
UNIV Al Punto*  N/A N/A

*Al Punto ratings will be added when they become available

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