Q2 2020 Morning Show Ratings: Good Morning America and Today Earn a Split Decision

By A.J. Katz 

Unlike its sibling newscasts in the evening, broadcast television’s morning shows didn’t show any significant viewership growth in Q2 2020, despite all of the seismic global news events that are happening, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the protests in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, not to mention this being a presidential year.

Different audiences, perhaps.

However, someone had to win the ratings race, and once again, a quarter ended in a split decision: ABC’s Good Morning America remained the No. 1 morning news show in Total Viewers, averaging 3.94 million, per live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen. NBC’s Today averaged the most adults aged 25-54 (1.19 million), marking 19 straight quarters (and 58 straight months) at No. 1 in the key demo.


How did the viewership compare with that of other quarters? Compared to Q2 of last year, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning were both up less than +1% in Total Viewers, while Today was -1%. GMA was flat in A25-54 viewers (a small victory for the broadcast), while Today was -4% and CTM was -9% in Adults 25-54.

Compared to Q1 of this year, GMA again showed slight growth in Total Viewers (less than +1%), while Today and CBS This Morning were both -1%. The story was worse when it came to the demos: GMA was -6%, Today was -7% and CTM was -10%, quarter to quarter.

Younger Americans are getting their morning news; they’re just less likely to plop down on the couch and watch it on a TV screen from 7-9 a.m. Older viewers, on the other hand, are still watching the morning shows (maybe a little less frequently than they once did), and the ratings make that clear.

Nielsen numbers for Q2, 2020:

• Total Viewers: 3,936,000 3,806,000 3,000,000
• A25-54: 1,113,000 1,191,000 676,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54  Live + SD, Current Week (w/o 6/22/20), Previous Week (w/o 6/15/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 6/24/19). Most Current: 2019 -2020 Season (9/23/19 – 6/28/20) and 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/18 – 6/30/19). Live+7/Most Current – 2Q20: 3/30 – 6/28/20, – 2Q19: 4/1 – 6/30/19and 1Q19: 12/30/19 – 3/29/20. Averages based on regular telecasts.