World News Tonight Posts its Most-Watched Week in a Decade

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir started 2017 off with a bang. Not only did the program post more year-over-year growth than its NBC and CBS competition (+2 percent in total viewers and +4 percent in A25-54), but it was the No. 1 evening newscast for the week in total audience and posted its most-watched week since February 2007.

Season to date, WNT ranks No. 1 in total viewers for the first time at this point of the season in 20 years – since the 1996-97 season when Peter Jennings was anchoring the program.

Additionally, with continuing coverage of the deadly Fort Lauderdale airport shooting on Friday Jan. 6, World News posted its most-watched telecast in nearly 2 years with 10.3 million total viewers.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt was the top evening newscast for the week in the demo that matters most to advertisers, Adults 25-54. Nightly grew +1 percent in total viewers and +2 percent in the news demo relative to the same week last year. Season to-date, Nightly News is holding its largest lead over ABC in the news demo since 2014, and has ranked No. 1 in the category for 75 of the last 76 weeks.

The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley fell year-over-year, -1 percent in total viewers and -9.5 percent in the key news demo compared to the week of Jan. 4, 2015. But unlike its ABC and NBC evening newscast counterparts, CBS Evening News did not exclude its New Year’s holiday broadcast from its weekly averages, which could explain the significant ratings gap between the program and its competition.

Editor’s Note: Due to the New Year’s holiday (Monday, Jan. 2), NBC and ABC evening newscast weekly ratings are based on 4-day averages. CBS is based on the typical 5-day average. 

Numbers for the week of Jan. 2, 2017:

• Total Viewers: 9,962,000 9,769,000 8,120,000
• A25-54: 2,282,000 2,475,000 1,793,000