While NBC readies its decision on the future of news anchor Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News continues to trend down in key viewers TV advertisers want most. But it maintains higher overall viewership. In the most recent reporting week in June, ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir earned 1.97 million average key 25-54 viewers for the week ending June 1, up 2% versus the same week a year ago.
As NBC News considers the future of its nightly newscast, its chief rival is celebrating an historic ratings victory. ABC’s World News Tonight currently ranks first among adults ages 25-54, narrowly edging NBC’s long-dominant Nightly News in the demographic for the first time in 19 years.
ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir averaged 8 million viewers last week, or 84,000 more than NBC’s newscast, with Lester Holt as the substitute anchor. NBC had won 288 consecutive weeks in the ratings. CBS won the week in primetime, averaging 8.1 million viewers. ABC had 6.4 million, and won among 18-to-49-year-old viewers. NBC had 5.8 million, Fox had 3.2 million, Univision had 2.6 million, Telemundo had 1.5 million, the CW had 1.4 million and Ion Television had 1 million.
Despite the turmoil that saw Lester Holt take over the anchor chair for the suspended Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News was No. 1 in first quarter by all the major measures. The newscast averaged 9.51 million total viewers and 2.33 million viewers 25-54 during the first three months of the year, according to Nielsen
NBC will stop airing national commercials during its overnight rebroadcasts of Nightly News after advertisers complained that the network was quietly using the rebroadcasts to bump its ratings. The move means that overnight viewers will no longer be included in Nightly‘s Nielsen ratings.
NBC’s Nightly News remains the most-watched evening newscast in the United States. For Madison Avenue, however, that information may provide cold comfort. For the second week in a row, ABC’s World News lured more of the viewers advertisers in news programming desire — people 25-54 — than NBC’s Nightly News. The last time ABC trumped NBC in that category in the evening news slot for two consecutive weeks came in October of last year, according to Nielsen.
Over the past seven weeks, almost a dozen NBC stations have been airing Nightly News in the middle of the night, usually after 2 a.m. While the potential audience in that hour is tiny, so is the gap between NBC and ABC’s World News Tonight in the evening news ratings race, and every eyeball counts.
In primetime, CBS averaged 9.2 million viewers last week, easily outdistancing NBC, which had 6.4 million. ABC had 5.6 million, Fox had 4.6 million, Univision had 3 million, Telemundo had 1.3 million, the CW had 1.1 million and Ion Television had 1 million.
ABC’s David Muir triumphed over NBC’s Lester Holt for the second time in five weeks, winning more of the evening news viewers advertisers care most about, as the switch to Daylight Saving Time severely crimped NBC’s dominance in the evening news wars.
ABC’s Diane Sawyer made ratings history in May when her World News became the first evening news program solely hosted by a female to win a sweep month in the industry’s most coveted demo.
NBC’s Nightly News remains in first place, where it has generally been since the late 1990s except for a brief run by Charles Gibson at ABC. Nielsen said NBC’s viewership is down from last year while ABC and CBS are up, with ABC in July winning a week among the key 25-to-54-year-old demographic for the first time since 2008. Despite decades-long prophecies of doom, network evening newscasts remain a vital part of television’s landscape, collectively reaching more than 22 million people each weeknight.
ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer tops its rival among the key adults 25-54 demo for the first time in almost five years, following the rise of Good Morning America.
The simple act of moving the clock ahead one hour for daylight saving time is costly for the network’s new broadcasts, since the hour that turns from darkness to light happens to be the hour in which they are shown in most of the country.
NBC continued to pace the other networks as the presidential campaigns drew to a close last night, posting the biggest audience on broadcast for its election night results. NBC led the night among both adults 18-49 and total viewers, as it did during the three presidential debates last month as well. The network averaged a 4.6 adults 18-49 rating and 10 share during primetime, with ABC in second with a 3.8/8.
Ratings were up across the board as NBC remained the top dog. NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams averaged 8.76 million total viewers, easily outpacing the 6:30 p.m. broadcasts on ABC and CBS.
During Christmas week, NBC averaged 7.2 million viewers in primetime (4.0 rating, 7 share), a rare primetime victory for the network. CBS was second with 6.9 million viewers.