Evening News Ratings: November 2018 Sweeps

By A.J. Katz 

When it came to the evening newscasts, the race for November sweeps ratings supremacy resulted in a familiar finish. At least familiar when compared with recent sweeps periods: ABC ranked No.1 in the evenings in overall audience, while NBC took the top spot among viewers in the ad-friendly A25-54 demographic.

Per the most current data from Nielsen, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir out delivered NBC Nightly News in total viewers for a November sweeps period for the 3rd year in a row.  OverallWorld News posted its 9th consecutive sweeps victory in total viewers – since November 2016 – the longest stretch of sweep wins in 22 years since the era of Peter Jennings.

WNT is the most-watched evening newscast for the 2018-’19 broadcast season to-date.

World News Tonight cut its margins with NBC Nightly News versus the year-ago sweep, and turned in its closest November performance in 4 years in Adults 25-54 – since November 2014.

In Nov. 2018, World News Tonight was -3 percent in total viewers, and less than +1 percent in the A25-54 demo vs. the November 2017 sweep period.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt finished No. 1 among adults 25-54 for the 14th consecutive sweeps period, and No. 2 in total viewers.

Like ABC, NBC was eager to make clear that it edged closer to its rival in the measurement where it finished in second place this month.

Despite finishing behind ABC in total audience, Nightly actually posted total viewer growth of +2 percent in November 2018 vs. November 2017 sweeps. The newscast was flat in A25-54 vs. last November.

Overall, a solid month for Nightly News.

The CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor was -6 percent in total viewers, and -8 percent in A25-54 in November 2018 sweeps vs. its November 2017 sweeps delivery. Anthony Mason anchored Evening News in November 2017, with Glor taking the reins on a permanent basis at the start of December 2017.

The three evening newscasts drew a combined 23.51 million total viewers in November 2018, which is -2 percent from their November 2017 delivery (23.95 million).

November 2018 sweeps:

• Total Viewers:  8,722,000 8,537,000  6,255,000
• A25-54:  1,824,000  1,907,000  1,287,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Sweeps based on Live+7/Most Current:  November 2018 Sweep (10/25 – 11/21/18), November 2017 Sweep (10/26 – 11/22/17) and July 2018 Sweep (6/28 – 7/25/18).   Sweep periods (November, February, May and July).  NOTE: Due to the digital transition, the 2009 February sweep was 3/5 – 4/1/09. Averages based on regular telecasts.