NCAA Basketball Gives Ratings Bounce to ‘Evening News’

Mar 28, 2006  •  Post A Comment

“CBS Evening News” is enjoying a ratings bounce while the network is covering the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, according to Nielsen Media Research.

For the week of March 20, third-ranked “Evening News” narrowed the gap between ABC’s “World News Tonight” to its closest in more than four years. A three-day average (because of pre-emptions for basketball on Thursday and Friday) of 8.46 million viewers put “Evening News'” 150,000 viewers just behind “World News'” average of 8.61 million viewers. In the key news demographic of viewers 25 to 54 years old, “Evening News” was only two-tenths of a ratings point behind “World News,” averaging a 2.2 rating and 8 share to “World News'” 2.4/9.

“NBC Nightly News” won the week with an average of 9.58 million viewers and a 2.6/10 in the demo.

While its competitors argue that “Evening News” benefits from counting a short week (Friday night newscasts are typically less watched across the board), comparisons to a year ago, when NCAA basketball coverage also kicked two nights of “Evening News” out of the count, show improvements consistent with the slow build of “Evening News” in recent months

Compared with a year ago, “Evening News” has gained some 740,000 viewers and cut the demo gap with “World News” in half.

Season to date, “Evening News” is up 200,000 viewers compared with the same time frame in the 2004-05 season, while “World News” has lost 900,000 viewers and “Nightly News” has lost 700,000.