Week of Feb. 28 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Is No. 1 in Total Viewers and Among Adults 25-54

By A.J. Katz 

During the week spanning Feb. 28-March 4, 2022, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir averaged the most total viewers of any show (8.78 million), excluding sports and syndication, and the most adults 25-54 of any evening newscast (1.625 million), as per live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen. This marks back to back weeks at No. 1 for ABC’s flagship newscast.

Muir anchored World News Tonight from Przemysl, Poland, near the Ukraine-Poland border on Thursday, March 3, and Friday, March 4.

Similar to its competitors, WNT did lose some viewers from the prior week. The newscast shed -2% in total viewers and -4% in adults 25-54 from the prior week (Feb. 21), when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started. Compared with the same week in 2021 (March 1), the trend was worse, with World News Tonight losing -5% in average total audience and -10% among adults 25-54.


Nevertheless, ABC’s evening newscast has now defeated its competition from NBC and CBS 170 of the past 171 weeks in average total viewers—and 99 of the last 101 weeks among adults 25-54.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 7.38 million total viewers (No. 3 on all of U.S. TV) and 1.35 million adults 25-54 during the week of Feb. 28. The evening newscast shed -2% in total viewers and -7% among adults 25-54 from the prior week. Compared to the same week in 2021, the newscast lost just -1% in total viewers and -1% in adults 25-54.

On YouTube, full episodes of NBC Nightly News reached an average of 917,000 views and 725,000 viewers last week. That’s according to Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals; YouTube Analytics Portal.

NBC decided to retitle Tuesday, March 1 broadcast of NBC Nightly News to “Nitely News” due to the State of the Union. The retitled telecasts are excluded from the weekly and season averages, and as a result, NBC Nightly News’ averages from last week are based on just four days.

Holt anchored Nightly News from Ukraine this past Sunday, and he is anchoring a streaming special from Ukraine this evening.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.085 million total viewers and 822,000 adults 25-54 for the week of Feb. 28. That’s -5% in total viewers and -10% among adults 25-54 from the previous week. The year-over-year trend was worse, with Evening News losing -7% in average total viewers and nearly a fifth of its A25-54 audience (-19%).

Unlike her fellow evening news anchors, O’Donnell has not been sent to Ukraine or Poland to cover the war. The network has sent CBS Mornings co-host Tony Dokoupil.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Feb. 28, 2022:

• Total Viewers: 8,778,000 7,381,000 5,085,000
• A25-54: 1,625,000 1,352,000 822,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 2/28/22), Previous Week (w/o 2/21/22) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 3/1/21). Most Current: 2021-2022 Season (9/20/21 – 3/6/22) and 2020-2021 Season (9/21/20 – 3/7/21).  Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. Beginning 8/31/20, national ratings also include Out of Home (OOH) viewing. Averages based on regular telecasts.