Evening News Ratings: Week of Aug. 5

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, and NBC Nightly News averaging the the largest adults 25-54 audience.

World News Tonight with David Muir averaged +846,000 total viewers more than its NBC counterpart during the week of August 5. The ABC evening newscast has now defeated both NBC and CBS in total viewers 45 out of the first 46 weeks of the 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 broke its four-week streak in second place, finishing ahead of ABC and CBS in the A25-54 demo and posting its largest demo audience in seven weeks in the process. Season to date, Nightly News continues to lead in the key news demo for the 12th straight year.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell is struggling to gain steam in the ratings department, posting double digit year over year losses this past week. However, the newscast did average its largest A25-54 audience since launch week (week of July 15 – 982,000). Launching a revamped newscast with a new anchor in the midst of a carrier dispute in the summer doesn’t help matters; but these early numbers still aren’t exactly spectacular.

Compared to the same week in 2018, ABC was +2% in total viewers, NBC was -1% in total viewers, while the CBS Evening News was -11% year-over-year. In the A25-54 demo, ABC was -3%, NBC -5% and CBS Evening News was -10% vs. the comparable week last year.

Note: Nightly News ratings are comprised of telecasts with regular titling and include overnight airings on owned stations.

Numbers for the week of August 5:

• Total Viewers: 8,029,000 7,183,000 4,860,000
• A25-54: 1,461,000 1,511,000 960,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD, 2018-19 Current Week (w/o 8/5/19), Previous Week (w/o 7/29/19) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 8/6/18). Season to date: Most Current: 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/18 – 8/11/19) and 2017-2018 Season (9/25/18 – 8/12/18). Averages based on regular telecasts.