Interest in television news among nontraditional news demos was quite high during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic—March into May—and through the end of the month due to the George Floyd police murder protests. The ratings bore that out.
Now, with the pandemic and the protests calming down a bit (at least temporarily), Sunday show ratings appear to be returning to prepandemic levels, slowly but surely—although three out of the fur major programs still managed to deliver week-to-week growth in the demo after what had been a mediocre June 7 on the ratings front.
Still, on June 14, NBC and Meet the Press returned to No. 1 across the board.
According to the most current data from Nielsen, the Chuck Todd-moderated program beat both ABC and CBS by double digits in the demo. A total of 746,000 A25-54 demo viewers tuned in to the first-run Sunday telecast, +13% (+87,000) more than ABC’s This Week and +14% (+93,000) more than Face the Nation. A substantial win. Meet the Press’ victory in overall audience was closer. MTP averaged 3.3 million Total Viewers: +16% (+448,000) more than This Week, but only +2% (+78,000) more than Face the Nation.
Additionally, 721,000 Total Viewers and 192,000 A25-54 viewers watched MTP through rebroadcasts on NBC and MSNBC.
The half-hour edition CBS’ Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan came in at No. 2 in overall audience on June 14. CBS’ Sunday public affairs show averaged 3.22 million total viewers, to go with 653,000 A25-54 viewers. The broadcast once again finished in third place in the aforementioned demo behind NBC and ABC.
Face the Nation was No. 1 across the board on the comparable Sunday in 2019.
ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos averaged 2.85 million Total Viewers and 658,000 A25-54. The ABC Sunday show beat its CBS competitor in the demo for the third week in a row, and posted growth among Adults 25-54 from the prior week.
This Week also posted year-over-year gains for the fifth consecutive Sunday, both in Total Viewers and in Adults 25-54.
The Fox network broadcast of Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace delivered 1.25 million total viewers and 314,000 A25-54 viewers. The cable replays combined for 3.28 million Total Viewers and 684,000 A25-54 viewers. Altogether, that’s roughly 4.53 million Total Viewers and 998,000 A25-54 viewers on June 14.
Compared to the prior Sunday (June 7), Meet the Press was +5% in Total Viewers and +8% in the demo. Face the Nation was -1% in Total Viewers but an impressive +19% in the demo. This Week was flat in Total Viewers and +6% in the demo, while Fox News Sunday was -2% in Total Viewers and -8% in the demo.
Compared with the same Sunday in 2019 (June 16), numbers were more favorable. MTP was +17% in Total Viewers and +16% in the demo. FTN was +12% in Total Viewers and -2% in the demo. This Week was +3% in Total Viewers and +4% in the demo. Fox News Sunday was -2% in Total Viewers but -14% in the demo.
The June 14 Nielsen numbers for the first-run broadcasts:
|NBC||Meet the Press||3,296,000||746,000|
|CBS||Face the Nation (1/2 hr)||3,218,000||653,000|
|FOX||Fox News Sunday||1,251,000||314,000|
Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Live + SD for 6/14/20, 6/7/20 and 6/16/19 or as dated. Most Current: 2019 -2020 Season (9/23/19 – 6/14/20) and 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/19 – 6/16/19). Averages based on regular telecasts.