There's a little fight in the "CBS Evening News."
For the first time since Katie Couric anchored "The CBS Evening News" in September of 2006, the program was watched by more viewers on an individual night than ABC's "World News," suggesting the competition between the three venerable network newscasts may be intensifying.
To be sure, CBS' broadcast remains in third place, while NBC's "Nightly News" and ABC's "World News" hold the first and second spots in the network-news pecking order. But CBS' ability to grow audience and even briefly topple ABC's newscast - which itself has been narrowing its gap with NBC - suggests viewership for the three programs can be in flux at any time.
CBS' surge comes as the Scott Pelley-anchored newscast added 960,000 viewers for the week of December 6, compared to the year-earlier week - more than ABC and NBC combined. With the death of Nelson Mandela and severe winter storms in the news - big breaking events - all three newscasts lured more viewers. NBC and ABC added 730,000 together in the week ended December 6.
CBS' recent success should not necessarily be interpreted as weakness by ABC. Season to date, "World News" has decreased the lead of"NBC Nightly News'" in viewers in the 25-to-54 demo, while increasing its lead in that category over "CBS Evening News." Nielsen figures for the season show "World News" leading CBS by over 1 million viewers overall and by 335,000 viewers between 25 and 54.
Evening News Battle Flares As CBS Tops ABC In Total Viewers On Two Nights
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.