Sept. 13 Sunday Show Ratings: Meet the Press, Face the Nation Earn Split Decision in Ratings Race

By A.J. Katz Comment

According to the most up-to-date live-plus-same-day numbers from Nielsen, NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd and CBS’ Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan split the Sunday show ratings race on Sept. 7.

MTP was No. 1 among adults 25-54, as is usually the case, with 615,000 from the demo watching the first-run broadcast. That’s +11% (+59,000) more than what ABC’s This Week drew, but just +1% (+1,000) more than what Face the Nation attracted.

An additional 1.09 million total viewers and 224,000 A25-54 viewers watched the Sunday program via rebroadcasts on NBC and MSNBC.

With one week left in the 2019-2020 broadcast season, Meet the Press is poised to finish No. 1 for the season, both in total viewers and adults 25-54. That’s now four straight seasons that MTP has been No. 1 among the Sunday public affairs shows.

Back to Sept. 13- The aforementioned Face the Nation averaged the most total viewers, beating rival Meet the Press by +237,000 total viewers.

FTN decided not to retitle its Sept. 13 broadcast. It had retitled five of its broadcasts in Q3, none of which count toward the show’s quarter/season/annual average. It remains to be seen whether Face the Nation retitles its broadcasts this fall as anticipation for the election grows.

Still, a quality performance, and as we’ll show below, the broadcast trended quite well.

One week after finishing No. 1 among adults 25-54, ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos slipped back to No. 3, averaging 556,000 demo viewers and 2.78 million total viewers on Sept. 13.

The Fox TV broadcast of Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace delivered 1.22 million total viewers and 308,000 A25-54 viewers. The cable replays earned a combined 2.58 million total viewers and 415,000 A25-54 viewers. Combined with the first-run broadcast, that’s around 3.8 million total viewers and 723,000 A25-54 viewers tuning in to FNS on Sept. 7.

How did the shows perform relative to the prior week (Labor Day weekend)? Meet the Press was +1% in total viewers and +2% in the A25-54 demo. Face the Nation was +8% in total viewers and +10% in the demo. ABC’s This Week was -1% in total viewers but -12% in the demo. Fox News Sunday was +13% in total viewers and +10% in the demo.

Neither NBC nor CBS decided not to count its respective Sept. 6 broadcasts, but each did count its respective Sept. 13 broadcasts. ABC counted both its Labor Day Sunday (Sept. 6) and its Sept. 13 broadcasts.

How did the shows perform relative to the comparable Sunday in 2019? Meet the Press was +12% in total viewers and +2% in adults 25-54. Face the Nation was +18% in total viewers and +4% in the demo. This Week was +2% in total viewers but -14% in the demo. Fox News Sunday was +8% in total viewers but -12% in the demo.

Sept. 13, 2020 Sunday Public Affairs Show Ratings (Nielsen, live-plus-same-day):

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr)  3,276,000 614,000
NBC Meet the Press 3,039,000 615,000
ABC This Week 2,782,000 556,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1,215,000 308,000

*Ratings now reflect the addition of Out of Home (OOH) viewership that Nielsen began measuring on Aug. 31 across only 44 markets.

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Live + SD for 9/13/20, 9/6/20 and 9/15/19 or as dated. Most Current: 2019 -2020 Season (9/23/19-9/14/20*) and 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/19 – 9/8/19). Prior to 8/31/20, ratings do not include OOH viewing. Nielsen ratings for “This Week” include additional airings in select markets. Averages based on regular telecasts.

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