"World News Tonight" Finishes Highest Rated Season in 8 Years - up 6% Year-to-Year, While NBC is Down -2%

— -- 2014-15 Season:

During the 2014-15 Season, “World News Tonight with David Muir” averaged 8.292 million Total Viewers, 1.827 million Adults 25-54 and 1.259 million Adults 18-49, based on Most Current Data from Nielsen Media Research.  “World News Tonight” improved on the previous season in Total Viewers (+6%), while retaining all of its Adults 25-54 audience.  Growing for the 3rd season in a row, the ABC evening newscast drew its most-watch season in 8 years and matched its strongest news demo performance in 4 years – since the 2006-07 and the 2010-11 seasons, respectively,

In addition, “World News Tonight” was up the most versus last season in Total Viewers (+6%) compared to “CBS Evening News” (+3%) and “NBC Nightly News” (-2%). 

World News Tonight” averaged 440,000 more viewers compared to last season (8.292 million vs. 7.852 million), while “NBC Nightly News” is posted a 206,000 average loss (8.662 million vs. 8.868 million).

“World News Tonight” won 7 weeks in Total Viewers and 24 weeks in Adults 25-54 during the 2014-15 season, the most weeks in both measures in 7 years - since the 2007-08 season.

For the 2014-15 season, “World News Tonight” slashed more than half of its season-to-season margins with “NBC Nightly News” in Total Viewers (-64% - 370,000 vs. 1.016 million), Adults 25-54 (-77% - 33,000 vs. 143,000) and Adults 18-49 (-52% - 101,000 vs. 212,000), delivering its closest performance with the NBC program in Total Viewers in 7 years and smallest margins in both Adult demos in 8 years – since the 2007-08 and 2006-07 seasons, respectively.  

During Anchor David Muir’s first season at “World News Tonight,” the broadcast had exclusives with Pope Francis for an historic, televised special event and President Obama on the normalization of relations with Cuba; the newsmaking interview with Hillary Clinton apologizing for her email; two trips to report on the refugee crisis (Syrian border in 2014 and Hungarian/Serbian border in 2015); a visit to Mexico City to cover the treatment of disabled and orphaned children; the first network interview with Jeb Bush on his presidential candidacy; exclusive with Apple CEO Tim Cook on the iPhone 6/+ and Apple Watch; exclusive with Bill Gates on his largest donation ever (Ebola); and Muir anchoring from several cities including Havana (Cuba/U.S. relations), Charleston (church shooting), Baltimore (Freddie Gray), Philadelphia (Amtrak derailment), Washington, D.C. (State of the Union), Los Angeles (wildfires), Iowa (election/Jeb Bush) and Silicon Valley (Apple).

3Q 2015:

ABC News’  “World News Tonight with David Muir” drew 7.636 million Total Viewers, 1.872 million Adults 25-54 and 1.259 million Adults 18-49 during the 3rd Quarter 2015, based on Most Current Data from Nielsen Media Research.

Growing over its year-ago Total Viewer 3rd quarter audience for the 3rd year in a row (+3% - 7.636 million vs. 7.386 million for 3Q14)“World News Tonight” attracted its largest overall 3rd quarter audience in 8 years – since 3Q07.  In addition, the ABC program was up year to year in 10 of the 12 weeks of the quarter.

In Total Viewers, the ABC newscast cut its year-to-year quarter margin with “NBC Nightly News” in Total Viewers (-21% – 447,000 vs. 564,000 for 3Q14) to post its closest 3rd quarter performance in 8 years – since 3Q07.   

For the 3rd quarter, “World News Tonight” led the “CBS Evening News” by 1.201 million Total Viewers, by 387,000 Adults 25-54 and by 256,000 Adults 18-49.

Week of September 14, 2015:

ABC News’  “World News Tonight with David Muir” averaged 7.623 million Total Viewers, 1.805 million Adults 25-54 and 1.251 million Adults 18-49 for the week of September 14, 2015, based on Live +Same Day Data from Nielsen Media Research. 

“World News Tonight” was up on the year-ago week in Total Viewers (+1% - 7.623 million vs. 7.570 million).  The ABC program was the only evening newscast to grow its overall audience year to year compared to “CBS Evening News” (flat) and “NBC Nightly News” (-3%). 

“World News Tonight” ranked No. 1 on Friday (9/18/15), leading “NBC Nightly News” in all key target demos: Total Viewers (+213,000 – 7.456 million vs. 7.243 million), Adults 25-54 (+150,000 – 1.801 million vs. 1.651 million) and Adults 18-49 (+141,000 – 1.315 million vs. 1.174 million).

“World News Tonight” narrowed its margins with “NBC Nightly News” from the same week last year in Total Viewers (-46% - 386,000 vs. 711,000) and Adults 18-49 (-5% - 185,000 vs. 194,000).

For the week, “World News Tonight” led the “CBS Evening News” by 1.310 million Total Viewers, by 399,000 Adults 25-54 and by 325,000 Adults 18-49.

NOTE:  “CBS Evening News” was retitled to “CBS Evening Nws” on Thursday (9/17/15) for NFL and the telecast was excluded from the averages.  CBS’ weekly averages are based on 4 days (Mon-Wed and Fri).

ABC “World News Tonight with David Muir” airs at 6:30 p.m., ET on the ABC Television Network.  Almin Karamehmedovic is the executive producer of the broadcast. Follow David Muir and the “World News Tonight” team online: @DavidMuir; @WNTonight; facebook.com/DavidMuirABCfacebook.com/WorldNewsTonight

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 Live + SD weeks of 9/14/15, 8/7/15 and 9/15/14.  Most Current: 2014-2015 Season (9/22/14 – 9/20/15) and 2013-2014 Season (9/23/13 – 9/21/14).   Most Current - 3Q15: 6/2 – 9/20/15.  2Q15: 3/30 – 6/28/15. 3Q14: 6/30 – 9/21/14. Averages based on regular telecasts.