‘World News Tonight’ Tops Again In 2020 Amid Boost In Evening News Viewership Overall

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir again is closing out the year as the most viewed network evening newscast, but it comes after all of the traditional broadcasts saw an uptick amid the coronavirus crisis.

World News Tonight averaged 9.61 million total viewers for the year, compared to 8.29 million for NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and 5.92 million for CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell. The figures are from Nielsen, via ABC and NBC.

In the 25-54 demo, World News Tonight averaged 1.93 million, to NBC Nightly News with 1.76 million and CBS Evening News with 1.11 million. In the 18-49 demo, World News Tonight had 1.31 million, to 1.22 for NBC Nightly News and 792,000 for CBS Evening News.

As the coronavirus crisis worsened, all of the evening newscasts saw ratings upticks, often outpacing their primetime lineups. World News Tonight was the top ratings telecast in all of broadcast and cable in 23 of 26 weeks from March to August. The network said that it won all three viewership categories — total viewers, viewers 25-54 and viewers 18-49 — for the first time in 24 years.

The average total viewership for World News Tonight grew by 12% over 2019. NBC Nightly News grew by 6% and CBS Evening News increased by 4%. NBC News said Nightly News had its highest number of total viewers in four years and that it was a top five most watched show for 38 weeks.

The figures do not include digital streams.

More to come.

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