“ABC World News” Slashes Viewing Gaps with NBC Week-to-Week, Year-to-Year, Sweep-to-Sweep

By David Ford

Mar 5, 2013 12:34pm

During February Sweep, “ABC World News” Cuts Viewing Gaps with “NBC Nightly News” to Smallest in 5 Years – Slashing Gaps Nearly in Half

For the Week, “ABC World News” Dramatically Closes Total Viewing and Demo Gaps with NBC – Demo Gap Cut to Smallest Margin Since June 2012

“ABC World News” Most-Watched Evening Newscast on Friday Topping NBC Among Both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54

For the February 2013 sweep, “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” delivered 8.51 million Total Viewers and a 1.9 rating/7 share/2.27 million among Adults 25-54, according to Nielsen Media Research.  “World News” was up compared to the previous sweep (8.28 million and 2.18 million for November 2012) and the year-ago sweep (7.94 million and 2.13 million for February 2012) in both Total Viewers (+3% and +7%, respectively) and Adults 25-54 (+4% and +6%, respectively).  In fact, the ABC evening newscast turned in its strongest numbers in 8 sweeps periods - since February 2011.

“World News” slashed its margins with “NBC Nightly News” nearly in half compared to the year-ago sweep in both Total Viewers (-43% – 837,000 vs. 1.47 million) and Adults 25-54 (-47% – 274,000 vs. 520,000) to post its smallest February sweep margins with the NBC program in 5 years - since February 2008.

“World News” outpaced the CBS’ “Evening News” by 1.27 million Total Viewers and by 203,000 Adults 25-54 viewers during the February 2013 sweep.

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For the week of February 25, 2013, “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” averaged 8.46 million Total Viewers and a 1.9 rating/8 share/2.23 million in Adults 25-54, according to Nielsen Media Research.  For the 5th week in a row, “World News” built on its year-ago performance in both Total Viewers (+5%) and Adults 25-54 (+2%) – 8.03 million and 2.20 million, respectively, on w/o 2/27/12.  In fact, “World News” stood as the only evening news to grow year-to-year in both measures as CBS’ “Evening News” was mixed (+1%/-4%) and NBC’s “Nightly News” (-7%/-11%) was down.

“World News” delivered the No. 1 telecast on Friday (3/1/13), outperforming the NBC newscast by +148,000 Total Viewers (7.589 million vs. 7.441 million) and by +227,000 Adults 25-54 (1.965 million vs. 1.738 million). 

On Monday (2/25/13), “World News” turned in its most-watched (9.35 million) and top Adults 25-54 telecast (2.629 million) in 2 years - since 2/9/11 and 3/21/11, respectively (regular telecasts).

Week-to-week, “World News” decreased its margins with “NBC Nightly News” by high double-digits in both Total Viewers (-44% – 550,000 vs. 977,000) and Adults 25-54 (-51% – 154,000 vs. 316,000).  In fact, the ABC evening newscast posted its narrowest news demo margin with “Nightly News” in more than 8 months - since w/o 6/11/12.

“World News” slashed its year-ago margins with “NBC Nightly News” by more than half in Total Viewers (-66% – 550,000 vs. 1.62 million) and Adults 25-54 (-69% – 154,000 vs. 491,000).  It marked the 5th straight week that “World News” closed its year-to-year gaps with the NBC program by double-digits in both Nielsen measures.

Season to date, “World News” has increased its Total Viewing audience (+3%) compared to the same point last season, drawing its most-watched season in 3 years - since the 2009-10 season.  For the 3rd year in a row, ”World News” narrowed its margins in both Total Viewers (-26%) and Adults 25-54 (-9%) with “NBC Nightly News” to post its smallest gaps (788,000 and 338,000, respectively) with the NBC program in 4 years- since the 2008-09 season.  

For the week, “ABC World News” beat “CBS Evening News” by 1.55 million Total Viewers and by 267,000 Adults 25-54, its largest news demo victory over the CBS program in more than 3 months -since w/o 11/12/12

“ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” airs at 6:30 p.m., ET on the ABC Television Network.  Michael Corn is the executive producer of the broadcast. Follow Diane Sawyer and the “World News” team online: @DianeSawyer@ABCWorldNewsfacebook.com/DianeSawyerfacebook.com/WorldNews.

EVENING NEWS (February 2013 Sweep)

  Total Viewers   Adults 25-54 Households
ABC   8,509,000 1.9/7; 2,267,000   5.7/11
NBC   9,346,000 2.1/7; 2,541,000   6.2/11
CBS   7,238,000 1.7/6; 2,064,000   4.9/ 9

EVENING NEWS (Week of February 25, 2013)

  Total Viewers   Adults 25-54 Households
ABC   8,463,000 1.9/8; 2,232,000   5.7/11
NBC   9,013,000 2.0/7; 2,386,000   6.0/11
CBS   6,917,000 1.7/6; 1,965,000   4.7/ 9 

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers and Adults 25-54 Live + SD weeks of 2/25/13, 2/17/13 & 2/27/12.  Most Current – 2012-2013 Season (9/24/12 – 3/3/13) and 2011-2012 Season (9/19/11 – 2/26/12).  All averages based on regular telecasts.  February 2013 Sweep (1/31-2/27/13), February 2012 Sweep (2/2-2/29/12) & November 2011 Sweep (10/25-11/21/12).   Sweep periods (November, February, May and July).

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