Nightly News No. 1 for 19 Seasons

By Chris Ariens 

Lester Holt gives NBC Nightly News the win for the week, the third quarter and the full 2014-2015 season (four months of which was anchored by Brian Williams) in all measurements. This is Nightly’s 19th consecutive across-the-board season win, going back to when Tom Brokaw anchored the broadcast. But Nightly finished the season as the only broadcast down in both viewers and the demo vs. the 2013-2014 season: down -2 percent and down -5 percent respectively.

For the season, which ended Sept. 18, ABC was the only broadcast to grow both viewers and the A25-54 demo: up +6 percent and up +1 percent, respectively. The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley was up +3 percent in viewers but down -3 in the demo.

NBC lead ABC by just 31,000 viewers or 1.5 percent in the A25-54 demo for the full season. The gap widened to 8 percent in the third quarter and comes after World News Tonight won Q4 2014, which was David Muir‘s first in the ABC anchor chair.


For the week, Nightly was the only broadcast to shed viewers vs. the same week last year, down -3 percent. World News Tonight was up +1 percent while CBS was flat. At the same time, Nightly was the only broadcast up in the A25-54 demo, vs. the same week last year: up +1 percent. ABC was down -9 percent and CBS was down -12 percent. (NBC and ABC are based on 5 days, while CBS is based on 4 days, excluding Thursday’s broadcast due to the NFL game).

Here’s a look at the prior 6 seasons:

2013-2014 | 2012-2013 | 2011-2012 | 2010-2011 | 2009-2010 | 2008-2009

Numbers for 2014-2015 season:

• Total Viewers: 8,637,000 8,269,000 6,960,000
• A25-54: 2,061,000 2,030,000 1,612,000

Numbers for 3rd Quarter, 2015:

• Total Viewers: 8,055,000 7,613,000 6,414,000
• A25-54: 1,961,000 1,819,000 1,435,000

Numbers for the week of Sept. 14, 2015:

• Total Viewers: 8,009,000 7,623,000 6,313,000
• A25-54: 1,946,000 1,805,000 1,406,000