Evening News Ratings: NBC Wins July Sweeps; CBS Grows in News Demo

By A.J. Katz 

The evening newscast numbers for the July 2016 are in, and the Peacock has come out on top. NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt was TV’s most-watched evening newscast for the 36th consecutive sweep period and finished No. 1 in the news demo for the 13th consecutive month. Despite the victory, Nightly News was down from its July 2015 sweep performance: – 4 percent in total viewers and -1 percent in the A25-54 category. July 2015 was Holt’s first month as permanent anchor for the program.

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished No. 2 both in total viewers and A25-54. World News improved less than 1 percent in total viewers, but lost 9.5 percent of its A25-54 audience from July 2015.

CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley finished No. 3 in the key categories, down 1 percent in total viewers but up 5 percent in A25-54 viewers compared to July 2015.

Numbers for the July 2016 Sweep:

• Total Viewers: 7,614,000 7,511,000 6,339,000
• A25-54: 1,886,000 1,646,000 1,490,000




With viewers seemingly turning to cable news for its wall-to-wall coverage of last week’s DNC, broadcast’s evening newscasts were down compared to the same week in 2015.

Nightly News managed to win 2016 DNC week despite being down 8 percent in total viewers and down 9 percent in the demo from the same week in 2015. World News Tonight fell to Nightly News by a razor thin margin in total viewers, the tightest race for presidential convention coverage since 1996. WNT dropped 6 percent in total viewers but lost 13 percent in the demo from the same week last year. CBS Evening News was down 1 percent in total viewers and lost 3 percent in the news demo from the same week last year.

Numbers for the week of July 25, 2016:

• Total Viewers: 7,177,000 7,146,000 6,029,000
• A25-54: 1,748,000 1,579,000 1,366,000