ABC World News Tonight Is Most-Watched for Week 1 of Olympics; NBC Nightly News Wins Demo

By Chris Ariens 

For the first time in more than 25 years ABC’s World News Tonight finished first in total viewers during an Olympics week. That hasn’t happened since the week of August 3, 1992, during NBC’s coverage of the Barcelona games.

But the win comes as Nightly News aired out of its normal 6:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. timeslot in many western markets because of NBC Olympics coverage. The broadcast was made available to West Coast viewers at 3:30 p.m. PT and to Rocky Mountain states at 4:30 p.m. MT. During the 2014 Sochi Games, Nightly aired during its normal viewing times. When only the Eastern and Central time zones are counted, Nightly had a +169,000 total viewer advantage last week.

Nightly News came in first in younger viewers, continuing its winning streak in the ad-friendly demo.


Compared to the same week last year ABC saw growth in both total viewers and the demo: up +4 percent in viewers and up +5 percent in the demo; NBC Nightly News was down -1 percent in viewers but up +8 percent in the demo; and the CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor was down -6 percent and down -9 percent, respectively.

Numbers for the week of Feb. 12, 2018:

• Total Viewers: 9,009,000 8,447,000 6,666,000
• A25-54: 1,995,000 2,139,000 1,424,000