Week of Feb. 6 Evening News Ratings: ABC World News Tonight Keeps Commanding Lead Despite Ratings Decline

By A.J. Katz 

ABC, NBC and CBS evening newscasts posted week-to-week losses, in all relevant measurements, while NBC and CBS posted year-over-year gains in total viewers.

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir remained the top-rated evening newscast for the week, and has defeated its competition from NBC and CBS 219 of the past 220 weeks in average total viewers—and 148 of the last 150 weeks among adults 25-54. Muir anchored the newscast from Turkey on Thursday and Friday, covering the aftermath of the deadly earthquake that struck both Turkey and Syria.

According to live plus same day data from Nielsen, WNT averaged 8.41 million total linear viewers this past week, a -5% drop from the previous week (the week of Jan. 30) but still the second-largest audience on all of U.S. television, excluding sports programming, of course. ABC’s evening newscast also averaged 1.33 million viewers from the key A25-54 demo this past week, which is -7% from the prior week. Compared to the year-ago week (Feb. 7, 2022), World News Tonight is -1% in total viewers but -14% in A25-54 demo, as Americans under 55 continue to flee linear TV news (and linear TV in general) at a much faster rate than their elders.


NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 7.24 million total viewers on linear during the week of Feb. 6, making it the fourth-most-watched U.S. show of the week—excluding sports, specials and syndication. The 7.24 million viewer average happens to represent the most narrow total viewer gap vs. World News Tonight since Dec. 19 of last year, but it’s also a -4% decline what the newscast averaged the previous week. NBC Nightly News also averaged 1.17 million adults 25-54 last week, which is also -4% from the week prior. Nightly News is +7% in total viewers and -3% in A25-54 from the year-ago week — opening week of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Additionally, according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals—and the YouTube Analytics Portal, full weekday episodes of Nightly News earned a solid average of 909,000 views and 705,000 total viewers streaming via YouTube.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.31 million total viewers this past week, a -3% loss from the previous week but +3% vs. the year-ago week. The newscast also averaged 792,000 adults 25-54 this past week, which is a -10% loss from the previous week and -3% vs. the year-ago week.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Nightly News, CBS Evening News, and World News Tonight Nielsen ratings from this past week are based on four-day averages (Mon and Wednesday-Friday) due to State of the Union coverage on Tuesday.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Feb. 6, 2023:

• Total Viewers: 8,412,000 7,241,000 5,314,000
• A25-54: 1,328,000 1,174,000 792,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 2/6/23), Previous Week (w/o 1/30/23) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 2/7/22). Most Current Data Stream: Season 2022-2023 (9/19/22 – 2/12/23), Season 2021-2022 (9/20/21 – 2/13/22). 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.