Week of October 16 Evening News Ratings: ABC World News Tonight Extends Week-to-Week Lead

By A.J. Katz 

ABC News, NBC News and CBS News’ evening newscasts saw a slight drop off in viewing this past week, a natural occurrence as wall-to-wall coverage of the Israel-Hamas war continues.

Per live plus same day data from Nielsen, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir is the No. 1 evening newscast. It drew nearly 7.5 million total viewers (No. 1 across broadcast and cable TV) and 1.1 million A25-54 viewers for the Tuesday through Friday portion of the week of Oct. 16. That’s -0.2% in total viewers and -4% in A25-54 viewers from the previous week (which was rated on only three days, excluding both Monday and Friday). When compared with the same week in 2022 (when WNT rated on all five days), World News Tonight is -2% in total viewers and a whopping -15% in A25-54 viewers, as ABC’s evening newscast continues the notorious trend of losing viewers under 55 on an annual basis.

The Monday, Oct. 16 broadcast of World News Tonight was not Nielsen-rated/excluded due to Monday Night Football continuing to air on ABC stations in several markets west of the Mississippi. The Monday retitling of ABC World News Tonight has been a consistent practice since the start of the Monday Night Football season in light of the newscast being preempted in several U.S. markets.


NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt continues to give World News Tonight a run for its money, despite a week-to-week drop off and a second place finish in both key measurements. The newscast drew an average of 1.01 million A25-54 viewers this past Monday through Friday, -10% from what the newscast averaged the week earlier (the first full week of the Israel-Hamas war), and -5% from the year-ago week. With Holt still anchoring from Israel, Nightly News defeated World News Tonight in the key demo on Thursday, Oct. 19. When looking at Thursday’s win and the previous Wednesday’s win, it marks Nightly News’ two largest A25-54 wins in consecutive weeks since March 2020.

In total viewers, NBC Nightly News was the fourth-most-watched show across all of broadcast and cable TV (excluding sports) for the week, averaging more than 6.83 million. That’s a -5% from the week before, and -2% from the year-ago week.

Additionally, according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals—and the YouTube Analytics Portal, full weekday episodes of NBC Nightly News earned an average of  912,000 views and 683,000 viewers last week.

Changing channels, The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged more than 4.69 million total viewers and 683,000 Adults 25-54 for the week of Oct. 16. That’s -2% in total viewers and -3% in A25-54 viewers from the previous week. CBS Evening News, unlike its ABC and NBC counterparts, saw a slight gain in total viewers from the year-ago week (+0.2%). However, it still shed A25-54 viewers from the year-ago week (-10%).

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Oct. 16, 2023:

ABC (4 days) NBC CBS
• Total Viewers: 7,496,000 6,383,000 4,691,000
• A25-54: 1,084,000 1,010,000 683,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 10/16/23), Previous Week (w/o 10/9/23) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 10/10/22). Most Current Data Stream: 2022-2023 Season (9/25 – 10/23/22) and 2022-2023 Season (9/19 – 10/16/22). 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.