Week of Oct. 12 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Marks 29 Straight Weeks at No. 1; Nightly News Posts Week-to-Week Growth

By A.J. Katz Comment

ABC World News Tonight With David Muir was the top evening newscast for the week of Oct. 12, 2020, both in total viewers (8.6 million) and among adults 25-54 (1.7 million). That’s now 29 straight weeks at No. 1, ahead of its NBC and CBS competition in those two particular measurements.

Relative to the previous week (when the broadcast was only rated for one day—Thursday.), WNT finished -2% in total viewers and -3% among adults 25-54. Relative to the comparable week in 2019 (Oct. 14, 2019), World News Tonight was +5% in total viewers and +3% among adults 25-54. Lastly, relative to the same week in 2016 (week of Oct. 10), WNT was +4% in total viewers, but -5% among adults 25-54.

World News Tonight is also rated based on a four-day average (Mon.-Wed., Fri.) due to the highly rated Biden Town Hall airing live across the country on Thursday.

Season to date, World News Tonight ranks No. 1 both in total viewers and adults 25-54 at this point of the season for the second consecutive year, based on most current data.

NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt averaged 7.4 million total viewers and 1.5 million adults 25-54 during the week of Oct. 12, second among the evening newscasts. NBC News’ flagship program performed well relative to the prior week, +1% in total viewers and +6% among adults 25-54; the only evening newscast to post week-to-week growth. Versus the year-ago week (Oct. 14 2019), Nightly was +1% in total viewers, but -6% among adults 25-54. Lastly, relative to the same week in the previous election year (w/o Oct. 10, 2016), Nightly was -8% in total viewers and -27% among adults 25-54.

For the week of Oct. 12, first-run broadcasts of the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.1 million total viewers but only 888,000 adults 25-54 viewers. This means Evening News was -3% in total viewers and -8% among adults 25-54 versus the previous week, -2% in total viewers and -9% among adults 25-54 versus the comparable week in 2019, and -22% in total viewers and a whopping -42% among adults 25-54 relative to the same week in 2016.

Not a great week, ratings-wise.

Worth noting that Evening News is rated based on a four-day average (Mon., Wed.-Fri.) due to NFL coverage on Tuesday, and the newscast still managed to be the most-watched program on the network Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings at various times during the day and in a variety of markets, large and small. They reflect the addition of out of home (OOH) viewership that began being measured on Aug. 31 across 44 markets tracked by Nielsen.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Oct. 12:

ABC NBC CBS
• Total Viewers: 8,613,000 7,428,000 5,134,000
• A25-54: 1,670,000 1,461,000 888,000

 

 

 

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 10/12/20), Previous Week (w/o 10/5/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 10/14/19). Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. Averages based on regular telecasts. 

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