ABC News’ World News Tonight With David Muir ranked as the No. 1 evening newscast in total viewers during an Olympics week for the first time in more than 25 years. Last time that happened was the week of August 3, 1992 – Week 2 of the 1992 Summer Olympics.
During the week of February 12, ABC’s evening newscast out-delivered Olympics broadcaster’s NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt, based on Live+Same Day Data from Nielsen Media Research. Muir’s telecast clocked 9.01 million viewers, besting Holt’s 8.48M, as well as Jeff Glor-anchored CBS Evening News‘ 6.67M.
But NBC’s newscast continued to dominate in the adults 25-54 demographic that is the currency of news programming ad sales. NBC averaged a 1.8 rating and 2.14M viewers in the demographic, outstripping ABC’s 1.6 rating and 1.96M viewers, as well as CBS’ 1.2 rating and 1.43M viewers. This despite airing at 3:30 PM on the West Coast during the Games. NBC’s newscast is enjoying its longest demo winning streak in more than four years, clocking the highest year-over-year growth in the metric.
For the week of February 12, NBC News did not did not re-title its broadcast any night, as the news division had done the previous week on the Friday of this Winter Olympics’ Opening Ceremony, and the Thursday night before the Opening Ceremony.
For this Olympics, coming from South Korea, NBC is airing competition live across the country, and NBC Nightly News is airing simultaneously on both coasts at 6:30 PM ET.
Heading into the Olympics, ABC’s evening news had the total-viewer momentum. Prior to the week of February 12, World News Tonight had topped in total viewers 16 of 20 weeks in the season and, season to date, ABC’s program leads NBC’s in overall audience by its biggest advantage since the 1995-1996 season.