‘NBC Nightly News’ Posts Big First Quarter as ABC Closes Demo Gap

Sochi Winter Olympics help give NBC evening broadcast double-digit gains

Last Updated: August 4, 2014 @ 10:37 AM

“NBC Nightly News” topped the network evening newscasts for the first quarter of 2014, bolstered in large part by the Sochi Winter Olympics in February, while ABC continued to close the gap in the coveted adults 25 to 54 news demographic.

Also read: CNN Beats MSNBC, Narrows Gap With Fox News in March

The Brian Williams broadcast was up 12 percent over the same period in 2013, with an average of 10.1 million total viewers, the largest gain in viewership in a quarter that saw higher ratings for all three network newscasts.

Diane Sawyer’s “ABC World News” was up six percent year over year to 8.8 million total viewers to its most watched quarter in six years. “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” increased nine percent from Q1 2013 to 7.7 million viewers.

Also read: In Josh Elliott Grab, NBC Lands a Blow to ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’

ABC had the most growth in the key adults 25 to 54 news demographic, with a 10 percent bump over last year that resulted in the show’s best demo performance in three years. That boost helped ABC close the gap with NBC by 25 percent from Q1 2013; the broadcast now sits 209,000 viewers behind “Nightly News” in the demo, which saw a 6 percent increase over last year. CBS remained flat in the demo. 

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