Week of July 12 Evening News Ratings: ABC World News Tonight Remains No. 1 as Newscasts Post Week-to-Week Losses

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished the week of July 12 with a 7.71 million total viewer average and a 1.41 million adults 25-54 average. Those figures mean ABC’s evening newscast has officially delivered a larger average audience than its NBC and CBS evening news counterparts, both in total viewers and in the key A25-54 demo, for 68 consecutive weeks.

World News Tonight was also the most-watched program on U.S. TV last week (excluding sports and syndication).

Compared with the previous week (week of July 5), which consisted of only one Nielsen-rated day for WNT, the newscast dropped -8% in total viewers, and -16% in the key A25-54 demo. Compared to the year-ago week, ABC’s evening newscast lost -13% of its average total audience, and -15% of its A25-54 demo audience.


On Wednesday, July 14, World News Tonight was retitled to due to ABC’s live telecast of Game 4 of the NBA Finals.  The retitled telecast is excluded from the weekly and season averages. As a result, World News Tonight’s weekly averages are based on four days.

Additionally, World News Tonight holds its largest season lead over both NBC and CBS in 26 years—since the 1994-1995 season, when Peter Jennings was still anchor.

Speaking of NBC, Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 6.06 million total viewers and 1.13 million adults 25-54 on linear this past week, making it the 3rd-most-watched show on U.S. TV (excluding sports and syndication) for the 6th consecutive week.

Compared to the prior week, NBC’s evening newscast lost -7% in average total viewers, and -5% adults 25-54. Relative to the same week in 2020, Nightly shed -21% in total viewers, and -25% of its A25-54 audience.

NBC’s flagship newscast streams full episodes on YouTube and is able to garner some additional eyeballs that way (eyeballs which aren’t measured by Nielsen). Nightly’s full weekday episodes on YouTube earned an average of 766,000 viewers, with the average viewer watching for roughly 12 minutes. That’s according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals, and the YouTube Analytics Portal.

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 4.72 million total viewers, and 803,000 adults 25-54 for the week. That’s a -6% loss in total viewers, and -10% in adults 25-54 from the prior week.  CBS Evening News lost -10% in total viewers and -15% in A25-54 viewers from the comparable week in 2020.

CBS Evening News was the most-watched show on the network last week, but once again declined to rate its Friday broadcast.

Below, the Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of July 12, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 7,707,000 6,058,000 4,723,000
• A25-54: 1,411,000 1,134,000 803,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 7/12/21), Previous Week (w/o 7/5/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 7/13/20). Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20-7/18/21) and 2019-2020 Season (9/23/13-7/19/20). 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.