Week of March 14 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Remains No. 1, But Sheds Viewers From Comparable Weeks

By A.J. Katz 

During the week spanning March 14-18, 2022, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir was the second-most-watched show on TV (excluding sports and syndication) averaging 7.94 million total viewers. The broadcast also averaged the most adults 25-54 of any evening newscast (1.35 million), as per live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen.

Maybe there’s a Daylight Savings factor; or perhaps the early rounds of March Madness took attention away from the evening news. Whatever the reason, the aforementioned numbers for ABC’s evening newscast are far smaller than usual. World News Tonight shed -11% in total viewers and -19% in adults 25-54 from the prior week (March 7), steeper losses than what its competition experienced. Compared with the same week in 2021 (March 15), World News Tonight shed -10% in average total audience and shed -18% among adults 25-54.

Nevertheless, the David Muir-led evening newscast has now defeated its competition from NBC and CBS 172 of the past 173 weeks in average total viewers—and 101 of the last 103 weeks among adults 25-54.


Additionally, Muir will be anchoring special editions of World News Tonight from the Ukraine-Poland border on Wednesday, March 23 and Thursday, March, 24, and from Warsaw, Poland on Friday, March 25.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt lost traction as well. The newscast averaged 6.72 million total viewers (No. 5 on all of U.S. TV, but -8% from the prior week) and 1.16 million adults 25-54 (-16% from the prior week) during the week of March 14. Compared to the same week in 2021 (March 15), the newscast lost -5% in total viewers and -7% among adults 25-54.

On YouTube, full episodes of NBC Nightly News reached an average of 888,000 views and 695,000 viewers last week. That’s according to Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals; YouTube Analytics Portal.

This week, Holt will anchor Nightly News on Wednesday and Thursday from Brussels and on Friday from Poland as President Biden travels abroad.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.03 million total viewers and 849,000 adults 25-54 for the week of March 14. That’s -4% in total viewers but +1% among adults 25-54 from the previous week.

Like ABC and NBC, the year-over-year ratings trend was worse, with Evening News losing -7% in average total viewers and -16% of its A25-54 audience.

On Thursday, March 17, and Friday, March 18, CBS Evening News was coded as a breakout due to coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The telecasts are excluded from the weekly and season averages, and CBS Evening News’ weekly averages for last week are based on just three days of shows (Monday-Wednesday).

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of March 14, 2022:

• Total Viewers: 7,942,000 6,721,000 5,026,000
• A25-54: 1,354,000 1,161,000 849,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 3/14/22), Previous Week (w/o 3/7/22) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 3/15/21). Most Current: 2021-2022 Season (9/20/21 – 3/20/22) and 2020-2021 Season (9/21/20 – 3/21/21). 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.