World News Tonight marks 13th consecutive week at No. 1 in US television despite falling ratings

The 4th of July holiday that fell on a Monday this year influenced evening news ratings last week. ABC, NBC and CBS all saw significant year-over-year ratings declines (July 4th was a Sunday in 2021). NBC and CBS actually saw growth in total viewers from the previous week, while top-ranked ABC lost viewers in several metrics.

According to live and same-day data from Nielsen, World News Tonight with David Muir averaged 7.04 million total viewers and 1.13 million adults 25-54, making it the highest-rated show on U.S. television – outside of syndication – by viewership and among adults aged 25 to 54. Additionally, ABC’s evening news has now beaten competitors NBC and CBS 188 of the last 189 weeks in average total viewership and 117 of the last 119 weeks in adults 25-54.

World News Tonight remains No. 1, but has seen the largest ratings losses in comparable weeks. The newscast lost -4% in total viewers and -9% in the adult 25-54 demo compared to the previous week (June 27). WNT also lost -16% in total viewers and -33% among adults 25-54 compared to the same week in 2021 (July 5). World News Tonight had only one day of ratings during the week of July 5, 2021, while the network had four out of five days this year. This could explain (at least in part) why World News Tonight’s year-over-year losses are larger than those of its rivals.

Lester Holt anchored NBC Nightly News last week from Highland Park, Ill. Nightly News delivers its closest viewership gap to ABC since December of last year, averaging 6.25 million total viewers on the linear network, up 1% from the previous week. The total average of 6.25 million viewers puts the show as the second highest in American television, excluding specials, sports, and syndication. That said, the newscast was down -4% from the comparable week in 2021. Additionally, NBC Nightly News averaged 960,000 adults ages 25-54 last week, down -8% from the average. from Nightly in the previous week’s demo – and down -20% from the comparable week in 2021.

Additionally, on YouTube, full episodes of NBC Nightly News reached 734,000 views and 589,000 viewers. This is according to data from Adobe Analytics and partner portals; YouTube analytics portal.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 4.48 million total viewers and 731,000 adults aged 25-54 for the week of July 4. This represents +3% in total viewers and a gain of less than +1% among adults 25-54 from the previous week. The Evening News lost -11% in viewers and -18% among 25-54 year olds.

Monday, July 4, World News Tonight has been renamed due to the July 4 holiday and is excluded from the weekly and seasonal averages. The weekly averages of ABC, CBS and NBC are therefore based on four days (Tuesday to Friday).

Nielsen live plus same-day averages for the week of July 4, 2022:

ABC NBC SCS
• Total number of viewers: 7,041,000 6,246,000 4,483,000
• A25-54: 1,129,000 960,000 731,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD Current week (without 04/07/22), Previous week (without 06/27/22) and Week a year ago (without 05/07/21). The most recent: season 2021 -2022 (20/09/21 – 10/07/22) and season 2020 -2021 (21/09/20 – 11/07/21). As of 8/31/20, the national ratings also include out-of-home viewing (OOH). Averages based on regular telecasts.