Week of June 28 Evening News Ratings: ABC Remains No. 1 in the Evenings, But NBC and CBS Close Gap

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished the week of June 28 with a 7.61 million total viewer average, to go with a 1.33 million adults 25-54 average. That’s a larger average audience than its NBC and CBS evening news counterparts both in total viewers and in the key A25-54 demo for the 66th consecutive week.

World News Tonight was also the most-watched program on U.S. TV for the fourth consecutive week, and aired the four-most-watched telecasts of the week: Monday (7.76 million – No. 1), Tuesday (7.75 million – No. 2), Wednesday (7.56 million – No. 2),  and Thursday (7.37 million – No. 4).

Compared with the previous week (week of June 21), however World News Tonight lost -2% in total viewers, and -9% in the key A25-54 demo. Compared to the year-ago week, ABC’s evening newscast lost -15% of its average total audience, and -20% of its A25-54 demo audience.


Despite these losses, World News Tonight still 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 6.65 million total viewers and 1.18 million adults 25-54 on linear this past week, making it the third-most-watched show on TV (excluding sports and syndication) for the fourth consecutive week.

Compared to the prior week, NBC’s evening newscast gained +5% in total viewers, and held steady in adults 25-54. That’s now back-to-back weeks of total viewer growth. Relative to the same week in 2020, Nightly shed -14% in total viewers, and lost -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 episodes on YouTube earned an average of 748,000 viewers. That’s according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals, and the YouTube Analytics Portal.

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 4.87 million total viewers, and 852,000 adults 25-54 for the week. That’s a +3% gain in total viewers, and +8% in adults 25-54 from the prior week. CBS Evening News lost -10% in total viewers and -14% in A25-54 viewers from the comparable week in 2020.

CBS Evening News was the most-watched broadcast on the network each day last week and No. 1 in the A25-54 demo Monday through Thursday.

ABC’s, CBS’ and NBC’s weekly evening news averages are based on four days (Monday-Thursday), with all three networks deciding to remove their Friday broadcasts due to the upcoming July 4 holiday.

Below, the Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of June 28, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 7,611,000 6,653,000 4,867,000
• A25-54: 1,331,000 1,182,000 852,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 6/28/21), Previous Week (w/o 6/21/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 6/29/20). Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20-7/4/21) and 2019-2020 Season (9/23/13-7/5/20). 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.