Week of Feb. 1 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Marks 45 Weeks at No. 1

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir remained the No. 1 evening newscast during the week of Feb. 1 2021, averaging nearly 9.8 million total viewers and 1.9 million adults 25-54. This result marks 45 consecutive weeks that World News Tonight has averaged a larger audience than its NBC and CBS evening competition both in total viewers and in the key demo.

Compared to the prior week, World News Tonight is -1% in total viewers, and -2% in the key A25-54 demo. That’s now back-to-back weeks of audience decline. However, compared to the same week one year ago, the trend remains positive — World News Tonight grew +1% in total viewers and +1% among adults 25-54. Additionally, it was the second-most-watched show on all of TV, excluding sports and syndication.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 8.2 million total viewers, making it the third-most-watched show of the week in all of TV (excluding sports and syndication). The newscast also averaged 1.6 million adults 25-54.


Compared to the prior week, Nightly News is down -1% in total viewers but grew its A25-54 audience (+1%). However, the newscast fell -1% in total viewers, and continues to lose more of its A25-54 audience from the year-ago week (-10%).

Unlike ABC and CBS’ evening newscasts, NBC’s flagship newscast streams on YouTube and is able to garner some additional eyeballs that way (eyeballs which aren’t measured by Nielsen). According to YouTube Analytics Portal. the newscast earned an estimated 1.1 million per episode last week, with 30-40% of those viewers watching on their TV via the YouTube app. Full episodes of Nightly are posted right after the west coast feed.

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell  averaged 6 million viewers, which is down -3% from the prior week, and under 1.1 million adults 25-54, which is -7% from the prior week.  The year-over-year trend isn’t great either. The newscast is down -3% in total viewers and -8% among adults 25-54.

On the plus side, Evening News ranked as the most-watched program on CBS Monday-Thursday and No. 1 overall in the demo Monday, Tuesday & Thursday; excluding syndication, of course.

Below, the Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Feb. 1 2021:

• Total Viewers: 9,756,000 8,219,000 6,014,000
• A25-54: 1,936,000 1,629,000 1,086,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54  Live + SD Current Week (w/o 2/1/21), Previous Week (w/o 1/25/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 2/3/20). Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20-2/7/21) and 2019-2020 Season (9/23/13-2/9/20).  Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. National ratings also include Out of Home (OOH) viewing. Averages based on regular telecasts.