Morning Show Ratings: Week of Feb. 24 and February Sweeps

By A.J. Katz 

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As is the case in morning news most weeks, Good Morning America and Today split the ratings battle, with the former averaging the most Total Viewers and the latter delivering the most Adults 25-54.

For the week of Feb. 24, GMA averaged 3.9 million Total Viewers, earning its largest margin of victory in that category in 6 weeks. Good Morning America won all 5 days of the week in Total Viewers and also won the key A25-54 demo on Monday, by +40,000 viewers.

Season to date, GMA is the No. 1 morning show in Total Viewers for the 8th straight year after finishing as the No. 1 mornings for the last 7 seasons.   In fact, GMA is more than doubling its advantage over Today versus last season (+110% – 101,000 vs. 48,000) to its largest in 3 years – since the 2016-17 season.

GMA may have remained on top in overall audience, but NBC’s Today remained No. 1  in Adults 25-54, the go-to demo among advertisers of news. The NBC morning show has defeated its ABC and CBS competition in that measurement for 216 of the last 218 weeks, and grew its audience slightly in that category from the prior week.

CBS This Morning remained in 3rd place this past week, per usual, but averaged a solid 3 million Total Viewers per telecast.  CTM delivered 3.2 million viewers on Thursday, Feb. 27, the second highest single day of the season. However, CBS’ morning show is still lagging far behind its ABC and NBC competition among Adults 25-54.

However, compared to the same week in 2019, the morning show trio shed viewers. GMA was -11% in Total Viewers and -13% in the demo. Today was -11% in Total Viewers and -14% in the demo. CTM was only -4% in Total Viewers but -11% in the demo.

It’s worth noting that for the comparable week last year, ABC’s, CBS’ and NBC’s averages were based 4 days (Mon-Tue, Thurs-Fri) due to coverage of the Michael Cohen testimony.

Morning Show Ratings for the Week of Feb. 24:

ABC NBC CBS
• Total Viewers: 3,893,000 3,717,000 3,007,000
• A25-54: 1,163,000 1,229,000 739,000

 

 

 

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD, Current Week (w/o 2/24/20), and Year-Ago Week (w/o 2/25/19). Most Current: 2019 -2020 Season (9/23/19 – 3/1/20) and 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/18 – 3/2/19). Averages based on regular telecasts.

Moving to the February 2020 sweep period, Today continued to win the A25-54 news demographic, while GMA held strong at No. 1 in Total Viewers.

NBC’s morning institution has now been No. 1 in the key demo for for 19 consecutive sweeps, a feat no other morning show has achieved. Additionally, Today narrowed the total viewer gap with GMA by 12% since the November 2019 sweep.

GMA, on the other hand, has now won 7 of the last 8 February sweeps periods in Total Viewers, with the exception being Feb. 2018, when Today enjoyed a lift from the NBC Winter Olympics. GMA outdelivered Today by +111,000 Total Viewers this past February sweeps, substantially increasing its year-ago lead by +85%; to its largest during a February sweep in 3 years – since February 2017. The show also posted its closest February performance in the A25-54 demo in 5 years – since February 2015.

Compared to Feb. 2019 sweeps, morning show numbers remained poor. GMA was -10% in Total Viewers and -10% in A25-54 viewers. Today show was -12% in Total Viewers and -16% in demo viewers. CBS This Morning was -11% in Total Viewers, and -19% in A25-54 viewers.

Morning Show Ratings for Feb. 2020 sweeps:

ABC NBC CBS
• Total Viewers: 3,821,000 3,710,000 3,002,000
• A25-54: 1,143,000 1,222,000 749,000

 

 

 

 Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Sweeps based on Live+7/Most Current: February 2020 Sweep (1/30 – 2/26/20), February 2019 Sweep (1/31 – 2/27/19). 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.

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