Week of March 1 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Marks 49 Consecutive Weeks at No. 1

By A.J. Katz 

Another week, another ratings win for ABC World News Tonight with David Muir. The newscast averaged nearly 9.3 million total viewers and 1.8 million adults 25-54 during the week of March 1, marking 49 consecutive weeks that ABC has averaged a larger audience than its NBC and CBS evening counterparts both in total viewers and in the key A25-54 demo.

Compared to the prior week (Feb. 28),  World News Tonight fell -2% in total viewers, but actually grew +1% in the key A25-54 demo. Compared to the same week one year ago, (which featured Super Tuesday—an event which draws more adults 25-54 to the news than usual), World News Tonight shed -1% of its adults 25-54 audience. However, it did grow +1% in total viewers.

Overall, World News Tonight is delivering its largest average total viewership in 16 years.


NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged nearly 7.5 million total viewers on linear last week. The newscast also averaged nearly 1.4 million adults 25-54.

Compared to the prior week, Nightly News fell -2% in total viewers and -4% among adults 25-54. The newscast fell -7% in total viewers, and -22% among adults 25-54 from Super Tuesday 2020 week.

Unlike ABC’s 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). On YouTube, Nightly’s full episodes reached an average of 1.1 million viewers last week, with 30-40% of those watching on their TV via the YouTube app. That’s according to data from YouTube Analytics Portal.

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell  averaged nearly 5.5 million total viewers and just over 1 million adults 25-54 for the week. That’s a subpar performance for the newscast, down -5% in total viewers and -5% in the demo from the prior week. As was the case for NBC, CBS also lost a good deal of traction from the year-ago week. The newscast fell -8% in total viewers, and -11% in the demo.

On a more positive note, Evening News ranked as the No. 1 show in total viewers and adults 25-54 on Monday and Wednesday last week.

Below, the Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of March 1, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 9,261,000 7,488,000 5,496,000
• A25-54: 1,804,000 1,368,000 1,018,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD Current Week (w/o 3/1/21), Previous Week (w/o 2/28/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 3/2/20). Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20-3/7/21) and 2019-2020 Season (9/23/13-3/9/20). 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. Digital ratings: Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals; YouTube Analytics Portal