Wednesday, September 22, 2021

TV Ratings: Network Newscasts Lose Viewers

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir again finished the season on top in total viewers and the key demographic, but all the network evening newscasts saw their viewership drop in 2020-21 versus a year earlier, reports Deadline.

The newscast averaged 8.74 million total viewers, down 7% from 9.39 million a season earlier. NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 7.32 million, down 11% from 8.27 million; and CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell posted 5.4 million, down 8% from 5.86 million.

In the 25-54 demographic, World News Tonight averaged 1.69 million, off by 10% compared to 1.88 million a season earlier. NBC Nightly News averaged 1.41 million, down 21% from 1.78 million. CBS Evening News averaged 984,000, down 11% from 1.10 million.

In the 18-49 demo, World News Tonight averaged 1.17 million, off 8% from 1.27 million in the previous season. NBC averaged 982,000, down 20% from 1.23 million, and CBS posted 701,000, down 10% from 780,000.

News executives have largely attributed the erosion to the end of a momentous election year and to the spectacle of Donald Trump’s administration. The evening newscasts in particular saw a viewership spike in the initial months following the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March, 2020. Although that has waned since then, ABC News noted that World News Tonight still ranked as the top program in total viewers in all of broadcast and cable TV for 20 of the 52 weeks this season (excluding sports and syndication), while NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News also have been among the top shows on their networks at various points throughout the year.

The figures are from Nielsen and were released by ABC News. They are Live+same day.

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