Averages 8.24 Million Viewers; Ranks as a Top 5 Most-Watched Show Across TV for 38 Weeks this Year

Plus an Extra 1.2 Million Tune in To Each Full Episode on YouTube, Up 539% Over 2019

Experiences Most Growth for Newscasts on YouTube

December 29, 2020 – NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt delivers its best year in total viewers since 2016 while experiencing significant growth across digital, including the most year-over-year growth on YouTube, according to Nielsen Media Research, YouTube Analytics Portal and Social Bakers.

NBC Nightly News 2020 Highlights on Broadcast:

  • Nightly News delivers its best total viewers average in four years (since 2016), averaging 8.24 million viewers, up +6% from 2019
    • Best total viewers advantage over CBS in eight years (since 2012)
  • Nightly News posts strongest A25-54 demo since 2018 with 1.74 million viewers, up +3% vs. last year
    • Biggest A25-45 viewer advantage over CBS in nine years (since 2011)
  • Nightly News averages best A18-49 demo since 2018 with 1.20 million viewers, up +5% over last year
    • Best A18-49 viewer advantage over CBS in three years (since 2017)
  • Nightly News ranks in the Top 5 most-watched television shows for 38 weeks in 2020 (excluding syndication, sports and specials)
  • Nightly News ranks in the Top 3 most-watched television shows for 22 weeks

Broadcast Source: Nielsen Media Research, Live + Same Day, data through 12/23/2020, regular titles only. Ratings reflect the addition of Out of Home (OOH) viewership that Nielsen Media Research began measuring on 8/31/2020 across 44 markets.

NBC Nightly News 2020 Highlights Across Digital:

  • Nightly News delivers an extra 1.2 million viewers for each full episode on YouTube, up +539% compared to 2019
    • Since the start of the pandemic in March, Nightly News averages 1.6 million viewers for each full episode, up +769% 
  • Nightly News experiences the most year-over-year growth on YouTube, topping ABC World News Tonight and CBS Evening News on YouTube with its full episode and clip starts: 67 million, +480% vs. 2019 monthly average
    • CBS Evening News Clips on YouTube: 21 million Starts, +101% 
    • ABC News World News Tonight Clip Starts on YouTube: 13 million, +55% 

Digital Source: YouTube Analytics Portal, January 1 – December 27, 2020; Social Bakers for Competitors, January 1 – November 30, 2020

NBC News contact:

Dana Klinghoffer



NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt reaches nearly 30 million people every week through its broadcast, and millions more through NBCNews.com, NBC News NOW, YouTube, the Nightly News app, the Nightly newsletter, showcast, and social media platforms. The broadcast provides the latest on the day’s top stories, going beyond the headlines to uncover how people’s lives are affected by the world around them. Lester Holt is the anchor and named the “most-trusted television news personality in America,” according to the most recent The Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult survey. Jennifer Suozzo is the executive producer.

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