With impeachment on the horizon, Americans flocked to the Sunday public affairs programs.
NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd beat its main rivals CBS Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan and ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7, both in total viewers (3.9 million) and among adults 25-54 (895,000).
That’s +211,000 more than ABC, +51,000 more than CBS in total viewers; +120,000 more than ABC and +125,000 more than CBS in the demo.
An additional 788,000 total viewers and 140,000 A25-54 viewers watched this past week’s edition of MTP through rebroadcasts on NBC and MSNBC.
In addition to winning the week, MTP remains the No. 1 Sunday show in 2020-2021 to date, has finished No. 1 in both of the aforementioned categories for four consecutive seasons, and won Q4 2020.
Despite having the Super Bowl airing on its network later in the day, Face the Nation took second place in total viewers (3.8 million) and 3rd place among adults 25-54 (770,000) this past week.
ABC’s This Week averaged its 2nd-most-watched telecast in the past 10 months – 3.7 million total viewers, and 776,000 adults 25-54 on Feb. 7. The program finished in 3rd behind NBC and CBS in total viewers, but ahead of CBS in the key demo (by only 6,000 viewers). Season to date, This Week is improving by double digits in Total Viewers (+23% – 3.467 million vs. 2.810 million) and Adults 25-54 (+14% – 737,000 vs. 645,000) versus the same point last season, seeing its most-watched season in 4 years – since the 2016-17 season.
The ABC Sunday show is also giving Meet the Press a run for its money these days, cutting its deficit with Meet the Press in total viewers by half vs. last year, and seeing its tightest margin in 6 years.
The Fox broadcast of Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace delivered 1.3 million total viewers and 285,000 A25-54 viewers. The cable replays earned a combined 1.2 million total viewers and 207,000 A25-54 viewers. Combined with the first-run broadcast, that’s roughly 2.5 million total viewers and 492,000 A25-54 viewers tuning in to FNS on Dec. 6.
How did the big four shows perform relative to the prior Sunday? They performed pretty well, which was expected considering an impeachment trial was about to start. According to Nielsen most current data, Meet the Press was up +1% in total viewers and +4% in the A25-54 demo. ABC’s This Week was +9% in total viewers and up +8% among adults 25-54. Face the Nation was up +2% in total viewers and up +9% among adults 25-54. Fox News Sunday was up +3% in total viewers but actually down -11% among adults 25-54 from the previous week.
With Americans still interested in politics post-election, most of the Sunday shows continue to rate well relative to the comparable Sunday in 2020. Meet the Press was up +18% in total viewers, and +22 % in the demo. ABC’s This Week was up +21% in total viewers and +12% in adults 25-54. Face the Nation, which had a really poor year-ago week, was up +36% in total viewers and +49% among adults 25-54 vs. that week. Fox News Sunday, however, did not perform well relative to last year. The program was down -8% in total viewers and a whopping -30% in adults 25-54 vs. the year-ago Sunday.
Feb. 7, 2021 Sunday Show Ratings (Nielsen live-plus-same-day):
|NBC||Meet the Press||3,875,000||895,000|
|CBS||Face the Nation (1/2 hr)||3,823,000||770,000|
|FOX||Fox News Sunday||1,304,000||285,000|