Week of Feb. 27 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Remains No. 1, Gains Viewers From Prior Week

By A.J. Katz 

New week, similar trend: ABC World News Tonight with David Muir was the top-rated evening newscast.

With its week of February 27, 2023 win, ABC News’ evening offering has now defeated its competition from NBC and CBS 222 of the past 223 weeks in average total viewers—and 151 of the last 153 weeks among adults 25-54. It also finished the week as U.S. TV’s most-watched show across broadcast and cable — marking three consecutive weeks at No. 1 in average total viewers.

According to live plus same day data from Nielsen, World News Tonight posted week to week gains. The newscast averaged more than 8.36 million total linear viewers for the week of Feb. 27, a +1% gain from the previous week (the week of Feb. 20), along with 1.3 million viewers from the key A25-54 demo, which is +3% from the previous week. Compared to the year-ago week (Feb. 28, 2022)—which featured in-depth coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war’s early days—World News Tonight is -5% in total viewers and lost 1/5 of its A25-54 audience (-20%).


After a strong ratings week of Feb. 20, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt fell back to Earth a bit. The newscast averaged 7.07 million total viewers on linear this past week, making it the third-most-watched regularly-scheduled show of the week—excluding sports, specials and syndication. The 7.07 million  average happens to represent a -4% loss from what the newscast averaged the previous week. Among adults 25-54, Nightly News averaged 1.14 million for the week of Feb. 27, which is -2% from the week prior. The newscast is also -4% in total viewers and -16% among adults 25-54 from the comparable week in 2022.

Additionally, according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals—and the YouTube Analytics Portal, full weekday episodes of Nightly News earned an average of 858,000 views and 677,000 total viewers streaming via YouTube.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.115 million total viewers this past week, a +1% improvement from the previous week and +1% vs. the year-ago week. However, the newscast continues to struggle with adults 25-54, averaging 753,000 this past week — a -3% decline from the week prior and a -8% from the year-ago week.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Feb. 27, 2023:

• Total Viewers: 8,364,000 7,068,000 5,115,000
• A25-54: 1,298,000 1,139,000 753,000


Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54, Live + SD Current Week (w/o 2/27/23), Previous Week (w/o 2/20/23) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 2/28/22). Most Current Data Stream: Season 2022-2023 (9/19/22 – 3/5/23), Season 2021-2022 (9/20/21 – 3/6/22). Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets.