Sunday Show Ratings: May 19 & May 2019 Sweeps

By A.J. Katz 

NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd was the No. 1 Sunday public affairs show across the board on May 19, marking the show’s 13th consecutive win in total viewers and a whopping 66th consecutive win in the A25-54 key demo.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, “the longest-running show on television” averaged 2.9 million total viewers last Sunday, edging CBS’ Face the Nation (+1%), and defeating ABC’s This Week by +23%. MTP’s margin of victory in the demo was more substantial. The May 19 broadcast averaged 710,000 A25-54 viewers, which is +26% more than ABC and +23% more than CBS delivered in the category.

An additional 852,000 total viewers and 147,000 A25-54 viewers watched the Sunday broadcast through re-runs on NBC and MSNBC.

Season-to-date, MTP is the No. 1 Sunday politics show, delivering its best total viewer lead over ABC in seven years and CBS in eight years.

CBS’ Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan finished No. 2 this past Sunday in the key categories of adults 25-54 and total viewers.

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos slipped to third place in the demo after finishing ahead of CBS in the category the previous week.

Fox News Sunday hosted by Chris Wallace averaged 1.21 million total viewers and 334,000 A25-54 viewers on Fox Broadcast. The 2 p.m. and 2 a.m. replays delivered a combined 1.31 million total viewers and 210,000 A25-54 viewers. All together, that’s roughly 2.52 million total viewers and 544,000 demo viewers on May 19.

There was no repeat of Fox News Sunday on May 19. The Pete Buttigieg town hall aired in Fox News’ 7 p.m. hour, a timeslot that traditionally houses a re-run of the original broadcast.

When compared to the same Sunday in 2018, NBC was -4% in total viewers, CBS was -11% in total viewers, ABC was -21%, and Fox was -11%. In the A25-54 demo, NBC was -16%, CBS was -23%, ABC was -29%, and Fox was -4% vs. the comparable Sunday last year.

Below are the numbers for May 19:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
NBC Meet the Press 2,920,000 710,000
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr) 2,880,000 576,000
ABC This Week 2,382,000 565,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1,213,000 334,000

Meet the Press also happened to complete May 2019 sweeps period as the No.1 Sunday show across the board, winning its sixth straight sweep across the board. This marks the second consecutive year MTP has won the May sweep among total viewers and fourth consecutive year MTP has won the May sweep among A25-54 demo viewers.

An average of 3.069 million total viewers tuned into the broadcast during the May sweep: +485,000 (+19%) more than This Week and +137,000 (5%) more than Face the Nation.
Compared to last year, MTP increased its total viewer lead over both ABC (+42%) and CBS (+52%). An average of 724,000 A25-54 demo viewers tuned into MTP during the May sweep: +96,000 (+15%) more than ABC and +134,000 (+23%) more than CBS. May marks MTP’s 15th consecutive sweep win in the demo most valued by news advertisers.

When compared to the May 2018 sweeps, NBC was -6% in total viewers, CBS was -7% in total viewers, ABC was -11%, and Fox was -4% the prior May sweeps. In the A25-54 demo, NBC was -17%, CBS was -17%, ABC was -20%, and Fox was -4% vs. the comparable sweeps last year.

Below are the Nielsen numbers for May 2019 Sweeps:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
NBC Meet the Press 3,069,000 724,000
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr) 2,932,000 590,000
ABC This Week 2,584,000 628,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1,238,000 344,000

 

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