According to the most up-to-date live-plus-same-day numbers from Nielsen, NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd was the No. 1 Sunday show on Aug. 23, topping ABC, CBS and Fox in average total viewers and beating each network by double-digit percentage points in the A25-54 demo.
The first-run broadcast of MTP on Aug. 23 averaged 3.10 million total viewers That figure is +20% (528,000) more than ABC’s This Week, but only +3% (105,000) more than CBS’ Face the Nation, which was the most-watched Sunday show the prior Sunday (Aug. 16).
Among the A25-54 demo, the money-making demographic, MTP won by a more comfortable margin. The first-run broadcast averaged 677,000 viewers. While not a huge audience, it was still +20% (111,000) more than This Week and +31% (158,000) more than Face the Nation.
An additional 1.075 million total viewers and 224,000 A25-54 viewers watched the Sunday program through rebroadcasts on NBC and MSNBC.
The half-hour edition of CBS’ Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan was the second-most-watched Sunday politics program this past week (just under 3 million), but finished No. 3 behind NBC and ABC in the key A25-54 demo (519,000).
ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos averaged 2.57 million total viewers this past Sunday, fewer than what the NBC and CBS competition each drew. However, ABC continues to average more A25-54 viewers than CBS (566,000 versus 519,000).
The Fox TV broadcast of Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace delivered 1.38 million average total viewers and 354,000 A25-54 viewers. The cable replays combined for 3.13 million total viewers and 514,000 A25-54 viewers. Combined with the first-run broadcast, that’s around 4.5 million average total viewers and 868,000 A25-54 viewers tuning in to FNS on Aug. 23.
How did the shows perform relative to the prior week? Meet the Press was -1% in average total viewers and -3% in the demo. ABC and CBS experienced steeper audience declines. Face the Nation was -8% in average total viewers and -12% in the demo. ABC’s This Week was -6% in average total viewers and -13% in the demo. Fox News Sunday, on the other hand, grew from the prior week: +14% in total viewers and +14% in the demo.
How did the shows perform relative to the comparable Sunday in 2019? The trends were mixed. Meet the Press was +6% in average total viewers, but -6% in adults 25-54. Face the Nation was +19% in average total viewers and +6% in the demo. This Week was -1% in average total viewers and -3% in the demo. Fox News Sunday was +16% in total viewers, but -2% in the demo.
Aug. 23, 2020 Sunday Public Affairs Show Ratings (Nielsen, live-plus-same-day):
|NBC||Meet the Press||3,102,000||677,000|
|CBS||Face the Nation (1/2 hr)||2,997,000||519,000|
|FOX||Fox News Sunday||1,375,000||354,000|
Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Live + SD for 8/23/20, 8/16/20 and 8/25/19 or as dated. Most Current: 2019 -2020 Season (9/23/19 – 8/23/20) and 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/19 – 8/251/19). Averages based on regular telecasts.