Week of June 8 Evening News Ratings: As Breaking News Cycle Slows Down, ABC, NBC and CBS Newscasts Shed Viewers

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished the week of June 8 as the No. 1 evening newscast among both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54 for the 12th consecutive week. The program averaged 8.79 million Total Viewers and 1.67 million A25-54 viewers for the week.

That’s noticeably down from the prior week, but more viewers than its NBC and CBS evening competition for the 81st consecutive week.

The newscasts originated from Houston early in the week, site of George Floyd‘s funeral. But outside of that, with worldwide police brutality protests and the breaking news cycle calming down just a bit, in addition to great number in many parts of the country, the decline in viewership for WNT (and the other evening newscasts) isn’t particularly surprising, with the most significant losses coming in the younger demos.


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.

Compared to the same week in 2019 (week of June 10), World News Tonight was +14% in Total Viewers and +15% in the key A25-54 demo. However, compared to the prior week in 2020 (week of June 1), ABC’s evening newscast was -7% in Total Viewers and -15% in A25-54 viewers, as expected.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt finished in second place behind WNT in the key measurements, and averaged 7.68 million viewers in total to go with 1.61 million Adults 25-54, giving World News a run for its money in the advertiser-friendly measurement.

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, Nightly was the fourth-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 was +12% in Total Viewers and +13% in the key demo. Compared to the prior week here in 2020 (June 1), Nightly was -7% in Total Viewers and -12% in the key A25-54 demo.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.39 million Total Viewers and only 989,000 A25-54 viewers last week. According to CBS, including that 4 a.m. re-air, the weekly average rises to 5.94 million total viewers and 1.16 million adults 25-54.

CBS chose to retitle its Friday broadcast and its week of June 8 ratings are based on just four nights.

Evening News was +5% in Total Viewers and up less than 1% in the A25-54 demo versus the same week in 2019. Compared to the previous week in 2020 (week of June 1), the newscast was -6% 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 8:

• Total Viewers: 8,793,000 7,677,000 5,393,000
• A25-54: 1,673,000 1,609,000 989,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 6/8/20), Previous Week (w/o 6/1/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 6/10/19). Most Current: 2019-2020 Season (9/23/19-6/14/20) and 2018-2019 Season (9/24/18-6/16/19). 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 6/8/20 based on Total Day.