ABC's 'World News' breaks a ratings streak

26 PHOTOS
David Muir
See Gallery
ABC's 'World News' breaks a ratings streak
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - The GMA team gets soaked taking the Ice Bucket Challenge, promoting awareness of ALS, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 8/15/14, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) DAVID MUIR
BOSTON - AUGUST 26: David Muir, who will replace Diane Sawyer at ABC, filmed promos with J.C. Monahan, of WCVB's Chronicle, along the waterfront in Boston on August 26, 2014. (Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: (L-R) Amy Robach, Ginger Zee, Lara Spencer, David Muir, and Brad Paisley speak on stage during ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on August 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 22: (L-R) Robin Roberts, David Muir, and Amy Robach dance on stage while the band Magic! performs on ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on August 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 15: (L-R) Ginger Zee, David Muir, Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line, Amy Robach, Lara Spencer, and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line visit ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on August 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: (L-R) President of ABC News James Goldston, Barbara Walters, ABC News anchor David Muir and Chairman of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger attend the 'Barbara Walters Building' ABC News Headquarters Dedication Ceremony on May 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: (L-R) ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer; ABC News anchor David Muir and ABC 'Good Morning America' anchor Robin Roberts attend the dedication ceremony as ABC News headquarters in New York is proclaimed 'The Barbara Walters Building' ABC News Headquarters Dedication Ceremony on May 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
ABC NEWS - ABC News covers the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, 8/28/12, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) DAVID MUIR, DIANE SAWYER
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: Journalist David Muir (R) and guest attend the Bloomberg & Vanity Fair cocktail reception following the 2014 WHCA Dinner at Villa Firenze on May 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/VF14/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: David Muir visits The Empire State Building on April 24, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: David Muir visits The Empire State Building on April 24, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: (L-R) Journalist David Muir, Kelly Ripa, President of Disney/ABC Anne Sweeney, Dean at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Lorraine Branham and Michael Strahan attend the 2013 Newhouse Mirror Awards Luncheon at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 5, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: Journalist David Muir attends the 2013 Newhouse Mirror Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 5, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
THE VIEW - (airs 1.25.13) ABC News’ David Muir guest co-hosts “Guy Day Friday”; Drew Barrymore introduces her new makeup line, “Flower”; “Real Life Hot Topics” with a brother and sister from Iowa, separated as children, placed into foster care 65 years ago and recently reunited through Facebook. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/Disney-ABC via Getty Images) WHOOPI GOLDBERG, JOY BEHAR, DAVID MUIR, SHERRI SHEPHERD, ELISABETH HASSELBECK
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Angela Bassett and Mary J. Blige are guests on 'Good Morning America,' 1/28/13, airing on the ABc Televsion Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) DAVID MUIR, ELIZABETH VARGAS, GEORGE STEPHAOPOULOS, LARA SPENCER, SAM CHAMPION
ABC NEWS - ABC News' David Muir follows the 2012 Republican Race from Manchester, New Hampshire. Coverage of the election airs on all ABC News Platforms. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images)DAVID MUIR
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Rocco DiSpirito shares easy recipes to help you slim down on 'Good Morning America,' 7/19/11 on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images)DAVID MUIR, ROCCO DISPIRITO
ABC NEWS - From London, ABC News broadcasts live from Media Village at Buckingham Palace, 4/29/11, as viewers are taken inside the Royal Wedding with comprehensive coverage across all ABC News platforms.(Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images)DAVID MUIR, DIANE SAWYER, BARBARA WALTERS
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - David Muir operates the GMA Smart Screen on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 3/21/11. GM11 (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)DAVID MUIR
NEW YORK - AUGUST 21: (L-R) Anchors Diane Sawyer and David Muir with performer Reba McEntire (middle) attend ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on August 21, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Janette Pellegrini/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 22: David Muir (L) and Nasri Atweh of the band Magic! jump on stage during ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on August 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - JUNE 25: ABC News today, June 25, 2014, announced new roles for anchors Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopoulos and David Muir. Sawyer will lead new programming tackling big issues and extraordinary interviews. Stephanopoulos, Anchor of Good Morning America and This Week, has been promoted to Chief Anchor of ABC News, handling special reports and breaking news. Muir, Anchor of 20/20, will become Anchor and Managing Editor of World News starting September 2. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) DAVID MUIR, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, DIANE SAWYER, JAMES GOLDSTON
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Journalist David Muir attends the Dior & Vanity Fair with The Cinema Society premiere of The Weinstein Company's 'The Immigrant' at The Paley Center for Media on May 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - OneRepublic performs live from Central Park on 'Good Morning America,' 7/12/13, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images) DAVID MUIR, ONE REPUBLIC
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 12: David Muir (2nd L) and Lara Spencer (C) interview (L-R) Drew Brown, Ryan Tedder, Zach Filkins, Eddie Fisher, and Brent Kutzle of OneRepublic during ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield on July 12, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: Donald Newhouse(L) and ABC NewÕs David Muir attends the 2013 Newhouse Mirror Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 5, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE


NEW YORK (AP) - As it did in the morning two years ago, ABC News has broken a long-running winning streak by its rivals at NBC News.

ABC's "World News" beat NBC's "Nightly News" in viewership last week, only a month after David Muir took over as anchor from Diane Sawyer. NBC's Brian Williams-led newscast had ruled for 263 consecutive weeks, a streak that began in September 2009, and for 310 of the past 311 weeks.

Last week ABC's broadcast averaged 8.42 million viewers, while NBC had 8.25 million, the Nielsen company said.

In 2012, ABC's "Good Morning America" broke an even longer winning streak in the morning by NBC's "Today" show. Now ABC consistently wins in the morning, a changing of the guard that has been particularly lucrative for the Disney Co.-owned network.

ABC has been creeping up in the evening ratings the past several months, often winning among the 25-to-54-year-old demographic that advertisers consider valuable, even though most evening news viewers are older than that.

"We're proud of the quality of the broadcast we produce every night and the stories we tell," NBC News spokeswoman Erika Masonhall said. "In an increasingly complex world, 'Nightly News' is the place our audience can turn to for credible, authoritative news they can trust."

ABC News did not comment on the ratings turnover.

NBC suggested its rival's ascension may be short-lived. The network said it was particularly hard hit last week by competition with the baseball playoffs because they impacted markets where "Nightly News" is stronger than "World News." For example, NBC said its ratings were off by 50 percent in Los Angeles on Friday, while the ABC newscast was down by only 4 percent.

NBC said it lost some 200,000 to 300,000 viewers last week in markets where local teams were in the baseball playoffs. ABC's margin of victory last week was 166,000.

People at the ABC and NBC newscasts are in the midst of an intense rivalry, albeit one conducted primarily in whispers. Much of it stems from news consultant Andrew Tyndall, who said in a report last winter that "World News" has become "Disneyfied," or less interested in foreign affairs and politics with a heavier concentration of lifestyle, celebrity or sports stories. The report angered many at ABC.

Tyndall, whose company monitors the content of evening newscasts, said ratings volatility can be expected in the next few months as viewers become accustomed to Muir in the role.

During his first month as anchor, Tyndall said "World News" spent 38 minutes in total discussing the wars in Iraq and Syria, compared to 62 minutes for "Nightly News" and 89 minutes for the "CBS Evening News."

However, Tyndall said there is evidence that NBC has "diluted" its hard news appeal since Muir took over, running several celebrity profiles.

"NBC's celebrity focus in September may be a sign that this middle ground is beginning to feel squeezed and that it has to compete more and more on ABC's turf," Tyndall said. "If so, it runs the risk of incurring more defections from those looking for serious contents, not to Muir, but to the 'CBS Evening News.'"

Masonhall said NBC had no comment on Tyndall's analysis.

___

Follow David Bauder at twitter.com/dbauder. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/david-bauder.

More on AOL.com:
Lunar eclipse in Asia and the Americas
Michael J. Fox Foundation sues New Jersey facility
Obama in-law Craig Robinson joins ESPN as analyst

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.