The May 2019 sweeps period is over, and when it came to the evening news, ABC and NBC split top honors.
ABC World News Tonight with David Muir dominated the evening news competition in total viewers, while NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt edged its rival for the top spot in A25-54, the demographic which matters most to advertisers of news.
Not only did World News Tonight deliver its most-watched May sweeps in 15 years, but it also earned its 3rd consecutive May sweep win and 11th consecutive overall sweep win in total viewers.
NBC Nightly News marked 4th consecutive May sweep win in A25-54.
According to the most current data from Nielsen, when compared with their respective May 2018 sweeps performances, ABC was +4% in total viewers, NBC was -1% in total viewers, while the CBS Evening News (first with Jeff Glor, and later a rotating cast of anchors) was -2%. In the A25-54 demo, ABC was +1%, NBC -2% and CBS -8% vs. May 2018 sweeps.
Numbers for the May 2019 Sweeps:
|• Total Viewers:||8,284,000||7,481,000||5,587,000|
Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 . Sweeps based on Live+7/Most Current: May 2019 Sweep (4/25-5/22/19), May 2018 Sweep (4/26-5/23/18). Averages based on regular telecasts.
World News Tonight was the No. 1 evening newscast in total viewers during the week of May 20, while NBC Nightly News remained No. 1 among adults 25-54.
The ABC newscast more than tripled its total viewers lead year to year (+217%) over NBC, winning for the 34th time in the 35 weeks of the broadcast season.
NBC Nightly News defeated ABC and CBS in the key A25-54 demo this past week by +2% and +55%, respectively, and is winning the demo this season to-date yet again.
When compared with the same week in 2018, ABC was +4% in total viewers, NBC was -4% in total viewers, while the CBS Evening News (anchored by Major Garrett) was -2%. In the A25-54 demo, ABC was -4%, NBC -1% and CBS -12% vs. the comparable week in 2018.
On Friday (5/24/19), World News Tonight was retitled to “Wrld News Tonite,” CBS Evening News was retitled to “CBS Evening Nws” and NBC Nightly News was retitled to “NBC Nitely News.” Each telecast is excluded from the weekly averages. ABC’s, CBS’ and NBC’s averages are based on 4 days (Mon-Thurs).
Numbers for the week of May 20:
|• Total Viewers:||8,263,000||7,364,000||5,549,000|
Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD, 2018-19 Current Week (w/o 5/20/19), and Year-Ago Week (w/o 5/21/18). Season to date: Most Current: 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/18 – 5/26/19) and 2017-2018 Season (9/25/18 – 5/27/18). Averages based on regular telecasts.