Led by Lester Holt, NBC Nightly News Is Now No. 1 For 20 Consecutive Seasons

By A.J. Katz Comment

Lester Holt gave NBC Nightly News the win for the week of Sept. 12, the third quarter and the full 2015-2016 season in all measurements. This is Nightly’s 20th consecutive across-the-board season win, going back to when Tom Brokaw anchored the broadcast.

For the entire 2015-2016 season, NBC Nightly News fell less than 1 percent in total viewers, but improved 2 percent in the news demo compared to the 2014-2015 season. For Q3, Nightly improved 2 percent in total viewers and +6 percent in the news demo compared to Q3 2015. It’s important to note that Nightly had some help from the Rio Olympics this past quarter. The program fell 3 percent in total viewers and fell 5 percent in the news demo from the same week last year.

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished No. 2 in both key categories for the week of Sept. 12, 2016, Q3 and for the 2015-2016 broadcast season.

World News delivered its most-watched season since 2006-2007. The show improved 1 percent in total audience from 2014-2015, and narrowed its total viewer margin with Nightly News by double digits. On the other hand, the program’s performance in the key A25-54 demo this past season was poor compared to 2014-2015 (-17 percent). For Q3, World News improved 1 percent in total viewers but fell 8 percent in the news demo from Q3 2015. For the week of Sept. 12, the program moved closer to Nightly News in total viewers, but fell 10 percent in the demo compared to the same week last year.

The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley finished in third place for the week of September 12, Q3 2016 and for the full 2015-2016 broadcast season. Nevertheless, the 2015-2016 season was CBS Evening News’ most-watched in 10 years, and it was the only evening newscast to deliver season-over-season growth, both in total viewers (+1 percent) and in the news demo (+.5 percent). For Q3, CBS Evening News improved 3 percent in total viewers, and +1 percent in the news demo from Q3 2015. The program fell 1 percent in total viewers and -1 percent in the news demo from the same week last year.

Click below for the averages for the previous six seasons:

2014-2015 |2013-2014 | 2012-2013 | 2011-2012 | 2010-2011 | 2009-2010 

Numbers for 2015-2016 season:

NBC ABC CBS
• Total Viewers: 8,609,000 8,336,000 7,035,000
• A25-54: 2,106,000 1,683,000 1,620,000

Numbers for 3rd Quarter, 2016:

NBC ABC CBS
• Total Viewers: 8,217,000 7,713,000 6,635,000
• A25-54: 2,086,000 1,666,000 1,446,000

Numbers for the week of Sept. 12, 2016:

NBC ABC CBS
• Total Viewers: 7,762,000 7,702,000 6,272,000
• A25-54: 1,854,000 1,631,000 1,402,000

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