Week of Oct. 26 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Averages 9.2 Million Total Viewers, No. 1 Yet Again

By A.J. Katz 

The big three evening newscasts delivered week-to-week viewership growth during the final full week before the 2020 presidential election.

ABC World News Tonight With David Muir was the top evening newscast for the week of Oct. 26, 2020, both in total viewers (9.2 million) and among adults 25-54 (1.8 million). If this No. 1 finish sounds familiar, that’s because it is. World News Tonight has been the No. 1 evening newscast both in total viewers and among adults 25-54 for 31 straight weeks. It has ranked No. 1 exclusively in total viewers for 101 consecutive weeks.

During the final full week before the 2020 election, WNT was +6% in total viewers and +9% among adults 25-54 versus the previous week (Oct. 19). Relative to the comparable week in 2019 (Oct. 28, 2019), World News Tonight was +7% in total viewers and +7% among adults 25-54. Lastly, relative to the comparable week in the most recent election year (week of Oct. 31, 2016 – final full week before the 2016 election), WNT was +14% in total viewers and +2% among adults 25-54.

A strong ratings week for WNT, no matter how you slice it.

Season to date, World News Tonight ranks No. 1 both in total viewers and adults 25-54 at this point of the season for the second consecutive year, based on the most current data from Nielsen.

NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt averaged 7.7 million total viewers and 1.55 million adults 25-54 during the week of Oct. 26. That’s the newscast’s largest total audience since the week of June 1, and the largest average adults 25-54 audience since the week of June 29.

Compared to the prior week, NBC News’ flagship program was +4% in total viewers and +9% among adults 25-54. Versus the year-ago week (Oct. 28 2019), however, Nightly was -2% in total viewers and -9% among adults 25-54. Lastly, relative to the comparable week in the previous election year (w/o Oct. 31, 2016), Nightly was -2% in total viewers and -18% among adults 25-54.

For the week of Oct. 26, first-run broadcasts of the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged nearly 5.6 million total viewers and 1 million adults 25-54 viewers. This means Evening News was +3% in total viewers and +7% among adults 25-54 versus the previous week; flat in total viewers and -8% among adults 25-54 versus the comparable week in 2019. The newscast was -15% in total viewers and a whopping -32% among adults 25-54 relative to the same week in 2016, when Scott Pelley was anchor.

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. They reflect the addition of out of home (OOH) viewership that began being measured on Aug. 31 across 44 markets tracked by Nielsen.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Oct. 26:

ABC NBC CBS
• Total Viewers: 9,226,000 7,744,000 5,559,000
• A25-54: 1,772,000 1,553,000 1,018,000

 

 

 

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54; Live + SD Current Week (w/o 10/26/20), Previous Week (w/o 10/19/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 10/28/19).  Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21 – 1011/19) and 2019 -2020 Season (9/23 – 11/3/19). 

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