ABC World News Tonight Is No. 1 Evening Newscast For 2nd Quarter, 2018

By A.J. Katz 

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World News Tonight continues to thrive in the ratings department. Anchored by David Muir, ABC’s evening newscast was No. 1 in total viewers for the 5th consecutive quarter, and defeated its evening news rivals by its largest total viewer margin since Q2 1996.

According to most recent Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, WNT also defeated its NBC rival among adults 25-54 (+1,000) during a quarter for the first time in 3 years–since Q2 2015.

But ABC’s win in the demo comes with a bit of an asterisk. Because of retitling of the evening newscasts during NBC’s Stanley Cup Finals coverage and ABC’s NBA Finals coverage, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and ABC World News Tonight only went head to head a few nights during the first few weeks of June, the final month of Q2 2018. If one excludes the first 2 weeks of June which were impacted by the NBA and NHL playoffs, Nightly News actually comes out on top in the A25-54 demo by +6,000 viewers.

However, we aren’t excluding those first 2 weeks, and as a result, ABC finishes Q2 as the top evening newscast among adults 25-54, in addition to being No. 1 in total viewers.

NBC Nightly News is still the No. 1 evening newscast in the demo for the 2017-2018 broadcast season to-date (+80,000), but it will be interesting t0 see if ABC can continue to close the season demo gap with NBC.

So how did ABC, NBC and CBS perform this past quarter when compared with Q2 2017? World News Tonight was the sole evening newscast to post year-over-year total viewer growth (+4 percent), and demo viewer growth (also +4 percent). Nightly News, on the other hand, was -1 percent in total viewers and -5 percent in the demo. CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor saw the most significant year-over-year ratings decline of the three, -6 percent in total viewers and -11 percent among adults 25-54 from last year.

Numbers for Q2, 2018:

• Total Viewers: 8.066,000 7,594,000 5,735,000
• A25-54: 1,647,000 1,646,000 1,169,000




Moving to this past week (June 25), it’s ABC World News Tonight that ranked No. 1 again not only among total viewers, but also among adults 25-54. ABC’s evening newscast has won the last 20 weeks in total viewers, and 36 of the 40 weeks of the broadcast season to-date in total viewers. NBC, as mentioned above, is still No. 1 this season to-date in the A25-54 demo.

Numbers for the week of June 25, 2018:

• Total Viewers: 7,814,000 7,198,000 5,491,000
• A25-54: 1,573,000 1,500,000 1,088,000




Source: Nielsen, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD weeks of 6/25/18. Most Current – 2Q18: 4/2 – 7/1/18, – 2Q17: 3/27 – 6/25/17. Averages based on regular telecasts.