Week of Sept. 28 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Posts Total Viewer Gains From Premiere Week, 2019 and Same Week in 2016

By A.J. Katz Comment

ABC World News Tonight With David Muir marked back-to-back weekly ratings wins to kick off the 2020-2021 season by averaging 9 million total viewers and 1.7 million adults 25-54 for the week of Sept. 28, 2020.

The ABC newscast hadn’t accomplished that feat in 17 years.

How do the total viewers and adults 25-54 figures stack up against those from comparable weeks? World News Tonight was +6% in total viewers and +2% in adults 25-54 compared to the prior week (Sept. 21, 2020), and compared to the relevant week in 2019 (Sept. 30), WNT was +9% in total viewers and +6% in adults 25-54. Compared to the 2016 election year week, World News Tonight was +9% in total viewers, but -6% among adults 25-54.

World News Tonight decided to retitle three broadcasts last week, meaning only two of five nights were rated. WNT took out its Tuesday broadcast, pre-debate, its NBA Finals Game 1 broadcast on Wednesday and its Game 2 broadcast on Friday.

This means the 9 million total / 1.7 million adults 25-54 average for Sept. 28 is for only two broadcasts.

ABC newscast just competed its most-watched season in 17 years, which included its largest adults 25-54 audience in five years—since the 2003-04 and the 2015-16 seasons, respectively.

NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt averaged 7.5 million total viewers and 1.5 million adults 25-54 during the week of Sept. 28, second among the evening newscasts. NBC News’ flagship program finished +2% in total viewers and +3% in the A25-54 demo versus the prior week. Versus the year-ago week (Sept. 30 2019), Nightly was +1% in total viewers and -2% among adults 25-54. However, compared with the previous election year week, Nightly was -5% in total viewers and -25% among adults 25-54.

Nightly News rated three of the five days. It took out Monday due to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals and was preempted on Friday by an NBC special report on President Trump being hospitalized.

For the week of Sept. 28, first-run broadcasts of the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.4 million total viewers and 1 million adults 25-54 viewers.

Evening News was +5% in total viewers and +9% among adults 25-54 versus the previous week (more demo growth than the competition); +4% in total viewers and +8% among adults 25-54 versus the comparable week in 2019.

However, compared with the same week in 2016 (the most recent presidential election year), Evening News was -17% in total viewers and -34% among adults 25-54.

CBS counted four of the five nights this past week, taking out Friday’s broadcast from its weekly averages.

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 only 44 markets tracked by Nielsen.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Sept. 28:

ABC NBC CBS
• Total Viewers: 9,004,000 7,469,000 5,428,000
• A25-54: 1,687,000 1,524,000 1,016,000

 

 

 

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 9/28/20), Previous Week (w/o 9/2120) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 9/30/19). Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. Averages based on regular telecasts. 

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