Saturday’s terror attacks in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio were the focus of broadcast TV’s Sunday public affairs programming.
Most of the Sunday shows posted year-over-year Nielsen ratings growth, most certainly as a result of the breaking news.
NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd was retitled this past Sunday, Aug. 4, due to coverage of the 2019 Women’s British Open and CBS’ Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan also chose to retitle. This means that Nielsen ratings for neither broadcast count towards that respective broadcast’s season averages.
MTP, despite being retitled, was still the No. 1 Sunday public affairs program across the board, averaging 3.2 million viewers and 737,000 adults 25-54.
Season-to-date, MTP is the No. 1 Sunday public affairs show in all relevant measurements, and is delivering its best total viewer lead over ABC in seven years and CBS in eight years.
Speaking of CBS – Face the Nation finished Aug. 4 with the second-largest total audience of the Sunday political programs, but ranked third among adults 25-54.
ABC”s This Week with George Stephanopoulos scoring its strongest numbers in nearly 3 months – since 5/12/19. It also topped Face the Nation (663,000) by +16,000 Adults 25-54, beating the CBS program in the key adult news demo for the second straight week and for the sixth time in the last seven.
Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace improved from the year-ago broadcast in total viewers, but lost some traction in the A25-54 demo. 1.24 million total viewers and 323,000 A25-54 viewers watched the first-run broadcast on Fox. The trio of cable replays delivered 2.9 million total viewers and 663,000 A25-54 viewers. Combined, that’s about 4.16 million total viewers and 986,000 A25-54 viewers.
Compared with the same Sunday in 2018, NBC was +24% in total viewers, CBS was +7%, ABC was also +7%, and Fox was +4%. In the A25-54 demo, NBC was +18%, ABC was +11%, CBS was +16%, but Fox was -8%.
The Nielsen viewership numbers for Aug. 4:
||Meet the Press||3,199,000||737,000|
|CBS||Face the Nation (1/2 hr)||2,824,000||663,000|
|FOX||Fox News Sunday||1,242,000||323,000|
Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Live + SD for 8/4/19, 7/28/19 and 8/5/18 or as dated. Season to date: Most Current: 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/18 – 8/4/19) and 2017-2018 Season (9/25/17 – 8/5/18). Averages based on regular telecasts.