Evening News Ratings: Week of March 9

By Chris Ariens 

The evening news race just got a lot tighter. “NBC Nightly News” with Lester Holt held an 11,000 total viewer lead over “World News Tonight with David Muir.” That’s the closest ABC has gotten to NBC in more than 5 years — since the week of Sept. 7, 2009 which was the week after Charlie Gibson announced his retirement from “World News.” And it’s No. 3 “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” that’s seeing the most year-over-year growth.

Muir’s newscast came in first in the demo for the first time in 3 weeks and for the 11th time this season. ABC had a +73,000 demo viewer lead on NBC. ABC has been seeing the most momentum this season, seeing an upward trend even before Brian Williams began his suspension. The broadcast is up +6% in total viewers, while “Nightly News” is down –1% season-to-date. “World News Tonight” also won Q4 2014 in the demo for the first time in 7 years.

Compared to the same week last year NBC was down -10% in viewers and down -11% in the demo; ABC grew +3% in viewers and was even in the demo; “CBS Evening News” grew the most year-over-year: up +4% in viewers, but down -2% in the demo.

As we mentioned last week a further challenge for the evening newscasts is the start of Daylight Saving Time. This year, it’s affected “Nightly News” the most as the show lost 1.6 million viewers, or -17%, from the previous week. “World News Tonight” lost 1.1 million viewers and “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” lost 747,000 viewers week-to-week.

Numbers for the week of March 9, 2015:

• Total Viewers: 8,131,000 8,120,000 6,907,000
• A25-54: 1,960,000 2,033,000 1,614,000