Week of Oct. 5 Evening News Ratings: Special Reports, NBA Finals Coverage Throw Ratings Averages Out of Whack

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight With David Muir was the top evening newscast for the week of Oct. 5, 2020, both in total viewers (8.8 million) and among adults 25-54 (1.7 million). That’s now 28 straight weeks at No. 1, ahead of its NBC and CBS competition in those two particular measurements.

The win comes with a disclaimer: World News Tonight was only rated for one day last week (Thursday). On Monday, the newscast was retitled due to a Trump special report. On Tuesday, it was retitled due to NBA Finals coverage. On Wednesday, WNT was retitled due to pre-vp debate coverage, and Friday the newscast was once again retitled due to NBA Finals coverage.

The retitling was done because these events impacted WNT viewership in several markets. However, even on those days when World News Tonight didn’t have full coverage, the newscast still won every night of the week in total viewers and among adults 25-54.

Relative to the previous week (when the newscast was rated for just two days also due to NBA Finals), WNT finished -3% in total viewers but +2% among adults 25-54. Relative to the comparable week in 2019 (Oct. 7, 2019), World News Tonight was strong: +8% in total viewers and +11% among adults 25-54.

NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt averaged 7.4 million total viewers and 1.4 million adults 25-54 during the week of Oct. 5, second among the evening newscasts. NBC News’ flagship program finished -1% in total viewers but -9% in the A25-54 demo versus the prior week. Versus the year-ago week (Oct. 7 2019), Nightly was +1% in total viewers but -10% among adults 25-54.

Nightly was rated on three days due to special reports and pre-vp debate coverage.

For the week of Oct. 5, first-run broadcasts of the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.3 million total viewers and 967,000 adults 25-54 viewers.

This means Evening News was -3% in total viewers and -5% among adults 25-54 versus the previous week, but +3% in total viewers and +1% among adults 25-54 versus the comparable week in 2019.

Evening News was rated on a four-day average due to NFL coverage.

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. 5:

ABC NBC CBS
• Total Viewers: 8,758,000 7,388,000 5,268,000
• A25-54: 1,724,000 1,380,000 967,000

 

 

 

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 10/5/20), Previous Week (w/o 9/28/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 10/7/19). Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. Averages based on regular telecasts. 

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