NBC takes crown in net news ratings

Peacock only net with year-to-year aud growth

NEW YORK — NBC’s “Nightly News” remains dominant in third-quarter ratings, reporting a slight uptick in viewership in the July-through-September season.

With an average of 9.1 million total viewers, the Peacock had a 5% edge over its ABC rival, “World News Tonight,” which averaged 8.7 million, according to Nielsen Media Research. CBS’ “Evening News” averaged 7.6 million.

Unlike its competitors, NBC was the only net that showed year-to-year audience growth in the third quarter, which this year ran from July 1 to Sept. 22 (including coverage of the 9/11 anni) and in the previous year included the first days of coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

While the Peacock can boast a 3% uptick in total auds, ABC was flat and CBS dropped 2%.

In the key demo of adults 25-54, ABC plummeted 11%, CBS fell 5% and NBC improved 4%.

In end-of-season ratings, NBC averaged 10.2 million viewers compared with ABC’s 9.8 million, marking Peacock’s sixth straight season-end victory. CBS averaged 8.6 million.

Alphabet grows year-to-year

Despite its second-place showing, however, “World News Tonight” did show the strongest year-to-year growth in total viewers, 6%, compared with NBC’s 3% and CBS’ 1%.

In the key 25-54 demo for the year’s time period of Sept 24, 2001-Sept 22, 2002, the Peacock’s newscasts saw a 3% increase among younger viewers, compared with ABC’s flat results and CBS’s 4% drop.

Andrew Tyndall, editor of the newswatcher Tyndall Report, said that given the general decline in broadcast news auds over the years, these modest results are relatively upbeat.

“If there’s a marginal increase in the age of erosion, or even if a network can hold its own, that’s a good sign,” Tyndall said.

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