Evening News Ratings: NBC Has Best Average in 5 Years; NBC, ABC See Best Demo in Over a Year

By kevin 

In a week that saw the start of the Winter Olympics, the hospitalization of President Clinton, and a massive snowstorm in the northeast, the evening news programs saw big increases compared to the week prior.

“NBC Nightly News,” which saw a big assist on Friday from the start of the Vancouver games, was the most-watched evening news program last week, averaging over 11 million Total Viewers, the newscast’s largest Total Viewer average since January 17, 2005. The program saw its best demo rating since January of 2009.

Meanwhile, “ABC World News” also drew its largest 25-54 demo audience in over a year. Year-to-year, ABC was up over a million total viewers. “World News” had its largest Total Viewer average in over a month.


Wednesday, the day of the blizzard, “Nightly” saw its largest audience (11.89 million) in over four years.

Combined, NBC, ABC, and CBS increased 2.32 million Total Viewers week-to-week.

Note: Not included in the averages are the “Nightly” weekend numbers: 12.36 million total viewers Saturday and 13.92 million on Sunday as the Olympics got underway. Brian Williams anchored the weekend broadcast.

Numbers for the week of Feb. 8:

• Total Viewers: 11,050,000 9,240,000 7,090,000
• A25-54: 3,460,000 2,800,000 2,230,000