For February, ABC World News Tonight Was the No. 1 Evening Newscast Across the Board

By A.J. Katz 

ABC’s World News Tonight finished February 2019 Sweeps as the No. 1 evening newscast.

That’s not a surprise these days.

But what is more surprising is that the ABC evening newscast also defeated its NBC and CBS competition during February Sweeps in the key A25-54 demo.

This is the first time the David Muir-anchored newscast has finished No. 1 in both of these categories in 11 years, since July 2007 Sweeps.

World News Tonight was the most-watched evening newscast for the third consecutive February Sweeps, and the most-watched evening newscast for the 10th consecutive sweeps period overall (since November 2017).

And in the key A25-54 demo, World News ranked No. 1 during February for the first time in 11 years and the first time during any Sweeps in nearly 4 years – since February 2008 and May 2015, respectively.

Lastly, World News Tonight averaged +678,000 more total viewers in the sweeps period, which is the largest advantage during any Sweeps in nearly 23 years – since May 1996.

The newscast also posted growth vs. the February 2018 Sweeps among total viewers (+3 percent) and A25-54 viewers (+4 percent).

For the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt finishing up in the key A25-54 demo has to be a bit deflating. Granted it’s not like ABC exactly dominated in the category (they only won by 2,000 viewers, but A25-54 is a demo NBC News traditionally wins. Perhaps this is just a blip in the radar.

Nightly News was +2 percent in total viewers vs. what it averaged in Feb. 2018, but -5 percent among adults 25-54.

The CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor was only -1 percent in total viewers, but -5 percent among adults 25-54 vs. what it averaged in Feb. 2018 Sweeps.

Evening News Ratings for Feb. 2019 Sweeps:

• Total Viewers: 9,514,000 8,836,000  6,678,000
• A25-54: 2,027,000 2,025,000 1,371,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49. Sweeps based on Live+7/Most Current: February 2019 Sweep (1/31 – 2/27/19), February 2018 Sweep (2/1 – 2/28/18) and November 2018 Sweep (10/25 – 11/21/18). 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.