Evening News Ratings: Week of Dec. 31

By A.J. Katz 

For the opening week of the 2019 Nielsen calendar year (the week of Dec. 31), ABC World News Tonight with David Muir remained the most-watched newscast, while NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt remained at the top of the heap among Adults 25-54.

However, each of the three evening newscasts were down in all relevant measurements vs. the comparable week a year ago (week of Jan. 1, 2018).

ABC World News Tonight has now won 14 of the past 15 weeks in total audience, and outdelivered its NBC competition by +510,000 total viewers this past week, more than doubling its lead year-to-year (+117 percent), while hitting a season high in total viewers and A25-54 viewers.

Season to date, World News ranks No. 1 in total viewers at this point of the season for the 3rd year in a row.

That said, the broadcast was -9 percent in total viewers and -10 percent in A25-54 viewers vs. the year-ago week.

NBC Nightly News has won the key A25-54 demo for 25 of the last 27 weeks, and is the No. 1 evening newscast season-to-date in the demo which is still the most valued by news advertisers. On the downside, the broadcast posted double digit declines from last year, -12 percent in total viewers and -15 percent in A25-54 viewers.

CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor also posted significant losses from the comparable year-ago week, -16 percent in total viewers and -19 percent in A25-54 viewers.

Ratings for the three newscasts are based on three nights (Wednesday-Friday) due to the New Year’s holiday.

The averages for the week of Dec. 31, 2018:

• Total Viewers: 9,375,000  8,865,000 6,293,000
• A25-54: 1,997,000   2,006,000  1,255,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 Live + SD, 2017-18 Current Week (w/o 12/31/18), Previous Week (w/o 12/24/18) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 1/1/18).  Season to date: Most Current: 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/18 – 1/6/19) and 2017-2018 Season (9/25/18 – 1/7/18).  Averages based on regular telecasts.