World News Tonight Delivered Huge Audiences During the Week of Jan. 6

By A.J. Katz 

The week of Jan. 6, 2020 was a very good one for ABC World News Tonight.

The David Muir-anchored newscast averaged 9.7 million total viewers and 2.04 million adults 25-54, its largest average weekly audience since the week of Jan. 28, 2019. The week was a news-heavy one, which included ABC News chief global correspondent Martha Raddatz reporting from inside the city of Tehran, as thousands of Iranians took to the streets to mourn the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq the previous Friday.

World News Tonight scored its largest A25-54 demo win over NBC Nightly News (2.04 million vs. 1.83 million) in over 5 yearssince week of Nov. 24, 2014. In addition, the newscast has won all 16 weeks of the season and the last 59 weeks overall in average total viewers.


World News Tonight is No. 1 in both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54 season to date for the first time in 24 years—since the 1995-96 season.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt finished No. 2 for the week on the ratings front, and is now behind ABC for the broadcast season to-date. Holt anchored special reports throughout the week on the U.S. drone strike in Iraq and the Iranian strike on a Ukraine International Airlines plane. Holt’s exclusive interview with Joe Biden aired during Tuesday’s broadcast.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell took 3rd place in all relevant measurements. O’Donnell’s exclusive interview with vice president Mike Pence aired during Wednesday’s broadcast.

Compared to the same week in 2019, ABC posted +3% total viewer growth and +6% in A25-54 demo viewer growth. NBC was -5% in total viewers and -13% in the key A25-54 demo. CBS was -8% in total viewers and -19% in the A25-54 demo.

The averages for the week of Jan.6, 2020:

• Total Viewers: 9,709,000 8,540,000 6,133,000
• A25-54:  2,039,000 1,827,000 1,153,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 1/6/20), and Year-Ago Week (w/o 1/7/19). Most Current: 2019-2020 Season (9/23/19-1/12/20) and 2018-2019 Season (9/24/19-1/13/19). Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. Averages based on regular telecasts.