Week of June 1 Evening News Ratings: Younger News Demos Flock to Evening News for Coverage of Police Brutality, Racial Injustice Protests

By A.J. Katz Comment

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished the week of June 1 as the most-watched program in America, and marked 10 consecutive weeks as the No. 1 evening newscast among both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54. The program averaged 9.45 million total viewers and 1.97 million A25-54 viewers for the week.

World News Tonight has averaged a larger total audience than its NBC and CBS evening competition for 80 consecutive weeks.

Overall, World News Tonight is having its most-watched season in 16 years and strongest key Adults 25-54 performances in four years—since the 2003-04 and the 2015-16 seasons, respectively.

Each of the newscasts performed especially well in the A25-54 demo this past week–each delivering their best ratings in the measurement in more than a month–as younger and less-traditional TV news viewers flocking to the evening newscasts for coverage of the police brutality and racial injustice protests taking place across the country and in certain cities abroad.

Compared to the same week in 2019 (week of June 3), World News Tonight was +14% in Total Viewers and +23% in the key A25-54 demo. Compared to the prior week in 2020 (week of May 25), ABC’s evening newscast was +1% in Total Viewers and +5% in A25-54 viewers.

It’s worth remembering that World News Tonight was rated only on a three-day average (Tuesday-Thursday) during the week of May 25.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt finished in second place behind WNT in the key measurements, and averaged 8.28 million viewers in total to go with 1.82 million Adults 25-54.

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, Nightly was the third-most watched program on U.S. television last week and No. 3 among A25-54 viewers (excluding syndication).

Compared to the same week in 2019, Nightly News grew the most:+17% in Total Viewers and +26% in the key demo. Compared to the prior week here in 2020 (week of May 25), Nightly was flat in Total Viewers but +9% in the key A25-54 demo.

The broadcast was rated based on a four-day average (Tuesday-Friday) during the week of May 25.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.76 million Total Viewers and 1.13 million A25-54 viewers last week, making it CBS’ No. 1 show. According to CBS, including the 4 a.m. re-air, that average total for the week increases to 6.22 million.

For the week of June 1, Evening News was +8% in Total Viewers, and +20% in the A25-54 demo versus the same week in 2019. Compared to the previous week in 2020 (week of May 25), the newscast was +1% in Total Viewers and +12% in the A25-54 demo.

*NOTE: Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings at various times during the day, and in a variety of markets, large and small.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day numbers for the week of June 1:

ABC NBC CBS
• Total Viewers: 9,446,000 8,282,000 5,756,000
• A25-54: 1,973,000 1,819,000 1,128,000

 

 

 

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 6/1/20), Previous Week (w/o 5/25/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 6/3/19). Most Current: 2019-2020 Season (9/23/19-6/7/20) and 2018-2019 Season (9/24/18-6/9/19). Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. Averages based on regular telecasts. Broadcast and Cable ranker for w/o 6/1/20 based on Total Day. 

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