Week of Feb. 8 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Was No. 1 on All of TV Monday

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir ranked as the No. 1 evening newscast during the week of Feb. 8, 2021 (“impeachment week”), averaging 9.5 million total viewers and 1.9 million adults 25-54. This result means 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 for 46 consecutive weeks.

World News Tonight was also the most-watched show on U.S. television Monday, drawing 10 million total viewers.

That’s according to the most current data from Nielsen.

Compared to the prior week, World News Tonight is -2% in total viewers, and -3% in the key A25-54 demo. That’s now three consecutive weeks of decline in average total viewers. However, compared to the same week one year ago, the trend remains positive—World News Tonight grew +6% in total viewers and +9% among adults 25-54.

On the digital front, ABC News says that according to Conviva data, the evening newscast had 13.5 million video views across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the week.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged just under 8 million total viewers last week, making it the 5th-most-watched show on 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 -3% in total viewers and lost -2% of its A25-54 audience. The newscast grew +1% in total viewers, but lost -2% of its A25-54 audience from the year-ago week.

Unlike ABC and CBS’ evening newscasts, NBC’s flagship newscast streams on YouTube and is able to garner some additional eyeballs that way (eyeballs that aren’t measured by Nielsen). According to YouTube Analytics Portal, the newscast earned an estimated average of 907,000 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  had a strong ratings week. The newscast averaged 6.1 million viewers, which is up +2% from the prior week, and nearly 1.2 million adults 25-54, which is +7% from the prior week. Compared to the year-ago week, the newscast is up +4% in total viewers, and +6% in the demo.

Growth across the board.

CBS Evening News earned a bump from Norah O’Donnell’s Super Bowl interview with President Joe Biden, which presented on multiple broadcasts and digital platforms before and after the Big Game. The interview amassed an audience of 32.8 million viewers, with 8.4 million of them in the key adults 25-54 category across all of those shows and platforms. That’s according to CBS News.

Below, the Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Feb. 8, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 9,529,000 7,974,000 6,114,000
• A25-54: 1,884,000 1,598,000 1,165,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 2/8/21), Previous Week (w/o 2/1/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 2/10/20). Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20-2/14/21) and 2019-2020 Season (9/23/13-2/16/20). 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.