Evening News Ratings: ABC World News Tonight Was No. 1 for the Week of Dec. 30

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir topped the evening news landscape last week in the key measurements: Total Viewers and Adults 25-54.

During the holiday-shortened week of Dec. 30, 2019, ABC’s evening newscast defeated its NBC rival by +636,000 total viewers and +113,000 adults 25-54, and defeated its CBS counterpart by +3.12 million total viewers, and 775,000 demo viewers.

Nevertheless, World News Tonight has officially won all 15 weeks of the 2019-2020 broadcast season among total viewers, and has delivered the largest total audience of the 3 newscasts for the last 58 weeks overall.


ABC’s weekly ratings averages for last week are based on just 2 nights (Thursday and Friday), while NBC’s averages are based on 3 nights (Monday, Thursday-Friday). CBS’ evening newscast averages are also based on just 2 nights.

During the year-ago week (the week of Dec. 31, 2018), ratings for the 3 evening newscasts were based on 3 nights (Weds-Fri).

With its win last week, World News Tonight technically pulled ahead of Nightly News in the A25-54 demo for the broadcast season to-date by +1,000 viewers. It’s the first time at this point in the season in 12 years that ABC has led NBC in the evenings among adults 25-54. However, ABC’s and NBC’s evening newscasts are going head-to-head all 5 nights this week, and the balance of power in the demo could shift back to NBC. We wouldn’t be surprised if it did, but we’ll find out for sure when this week’s evening news ratings come out next Tuesday.

The aforementioned NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, which finished No. 2 across the board this past week, will broadcast Holt’s interview with Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden tonight.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell is presenting a significant interview of its own this evening: O’Donnell sits down with Vice President Mike Pence.

Anyways, compared to the same week in 2018, evening news ratings were poor. ABC was -6% in total viewers and -11% among adults 25-54. NBC was -8% in total viewers and -17% among adults 25-54. CBS was -10% in total viewers and -21% among adults 25-54.

The averages for the week of Dec. 30, 2019:

• Total Viewers: 8,810,000  8,174,000 5,686,000
• A25-54: 1,770,000   1,657,000  995,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54  Live + SD Current Week (w/o 12/30/19), Previous Week (w/o 12/23/19) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 12/31/18). Most Current: 2019–2020 Season (9/23/19 – 1/5/20) and 2018–2019 Season (9/24/19 – 1/6/19). Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. Averages based on regular telecasts.

CBS Evening News’ ratings are comprised of telecasts with regular titling and include overnight airings on owned stations. World News Tonight’s ratings also include 3:30pm airings in Los Angeles and San Francisco.