Evening News Ratings: Week of Aug. 19

By A.J. Katz 

There was a split decision in the evening news weekly ratings race, with ABC World News Tonight averaging the largest total audience once again, and NBC Nightly News averaging the largest adults 25-54 audience.

World News Tonight with David Muir averaged +855,000 total viewers more than its NBC counterpart during the week of August 19. The ABC evening newscast has now defeated both NBC and CBS in total viewers 47 out of 48 weeks this season.

Season to date, World News Tonight ranks No. 1 in total audience for the 3rd year in a row after finishing No. 1 for the last two seasons, and is delivering its largest total audience lead over NBC in 23 years (since the 1995-96 season), and its largest lead over CBS in at least 27 years.


NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt finished ahead of ABC and CBS in the A25-54 demo, knocking off rival ABC by +3,000 demo viewers. Nightly, which rated all five days of the week, unlike its competition, also posted its largest demo audience in 13 weeks. NBC Nightly News continues to lead in the key news demo for the 12th straight year.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell was slightly down week-to-week and year-over-year, as we’ll show below.

Compared to the same week in 2018, ABC was +1% in total viewers, NBC was -2% in total viewers, while the CBS Evening News was -10%. In the A25-54 demo, ABC was -4%, NBC -6% and CBS Evening News was -13% vs. the comparable week last year.

World News Tonight has also posted 12 consecutive weeks of year-to-year Total Viewer gain. That’s no small feat.

Due to NFL preseason on Thursday (8/22/19) and Friday (8/23/19), World News Tonight ratings were based on only three days last week (Mon – Weds).

CBS Evening News ratings from last week are based on only four days (Mon, 8/19 – Thursday, 8/22).

NBC Nightly News ratings for the week of Aug. 19 are based on all five days of the week.

Nielsen Numbers for the week of August 19:

• Total Viewers: 8,145,000 7,290,000 5,119,000
• A25-54: 1,153,000 1,556,000 997,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54  Live + SD, 2018-2019 Current Week (w/o 8/19/19),and Year-Ago Week (w/o 8/20/18). Season to date: Most Current: 2018-2019 Season (9/24/18 – 8/25/19) and 2017-2018 Season (9/25/17 – 8/26/18).  Averages based on regular telecasts.