David Muir’s ABC Newscast Wins First May Sweeps in 8 Years

“World News Tonight” tops “Nightly News” among adults 25-54 and 18-49, comes close in total viewers

Last Updated: May 27, 2015 @ 8:05 AM

David Muir is continuing to be a thorn in NBC’s side, as his ABC “World News Tonight” just topped the May sweep in both the 25-54 and 18-49 demographics for the first time in eight years.

In the May sweep period, “World News Tonight” beat “Nightly News” by 62,000 viewers 25-54 and by 15,000 18-49. Here is how those two demos broke down between the two newscasts:

Adults 25-54
“World News Tonight”: 1.823 million viewers
“Nightly News”: 1.761 million viewers

Adults 18-49
“World News Tonight”: 1.255 million viewers
“Nightly News”: 1.240 million viewers.

The last time ABC bested NBC in either of those demos was 2007.

In total viewers, however, the order was reversed. Lester Holt’s NBC program eclipsed David Muir’s ABC offering by 35,000 audience members, 7.708 million viewers to 7.673 million.

That said, there is still reason for ABC to be content with the closeness of that race: Last May sweep they were down by 1.029 million total viewers; the slight difference this time around actually marks the closest May sweep finish with NBC in eight years.

Previously, Muir won the key news demo (25-54) against Brian Williams in the November sweep period, the first time the ABC newscast managed to trump the NBC one in 18 years.

Season-to-date, Muir has proven to be a commodity for ABC News. “World News Tonight” is up nearly half a million total viewers on average from 2014 (8.578 million versus 8.105 million) — a six percent increase overall. It’s up a more modest one percent in the main demographic, but any positive momentum is a plus.

And ABC will take it, as “Nightly” is down three percent in total viewers (8.965 million vs. 9.269 million) and has fallen eight percent in the key demo year-over-year.

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