Week of Jan. 25 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Remains No. 1, But Loses Viewers From Previous Week

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir was the go-to evening newscast during the week of Jan. 25, 2021, averaging 9.9 million total viewers and 2 million adults 25-54. This result marks 44 consecutive weeks that ABC’s evening newscast has averaged a larger audience than its NBC and CBS evening competition both in total viewers and in the key demo.

World News Tonight was also the most-watched show on all of television (including sports and syndication) Thursday, Jan. 28, averaging a whopping 10.4 million viewers.

Compared to the prior week (which featured the inauguration), World News Tonight was down -3% in total viewers, and  -4% in the key A25-54 demo.


Compared to the same week one year ago,  the trend was superb. World News Tonight grew +6% in total viewers and +7% among adults 25-54.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged nearly 8.3 million total viewers, making it the No.5 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 was flat  in total viewers but is losing adults 25-54 (-5% from the prior week). Nightly is up +1% in total viewers but still -6% among adults 25-54 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 which aren’t measured by Nielsen). According to YouTube Analytics Portal. the newscast earned an estimated 1.3 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 had a nice ratings week. The newscast averaged nearly 6.2 million viewers and 1.2 million adults 25-54. Evening News is actually up +2% in the demo, and flat in total viewers from the prior week. The year-over-year trend is good too, up +4% in total viewers and +10% among adults 25-54.

Below, the Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Jan. 25, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 9,860,000 8,268,000 6,172,000
• A25-54: 1,966,000 1,615,000 1,173,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD Current Week (w/o 1/25/21), Previous Week (w/o 1/18/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 1/27/20). Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20-1/31/21) and 2019-2020 Season (9/23/13-2/2/20). 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.