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Broadcast Ascends Again in October on Strength of Sports Viewership, according to Nielsen's Report of The Gauge™

NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Audiences spent more time in front of TV screens in October, increasing overall usage by 2% compared with September, according to Nielsen's October 2023 report of The Gauge™, the media measurement company's monthly snapshot of total broadcast, cable and streaming consumption that occurs via television. The increase in overall TV usage in October was boosted by the broadcast category, which was the only viewing category within The Gauge to exhibit monthly growth in viewing volume (+9.4%) and share (+1.7 pts.).

In its third consecutive month of growth, broadcast accounted for 24.6% of total TV usage in October and its largest share in The Gauge since January 2023 (24.9%). October is normally a flagship month for broadcast viewing, and with the lack of new scripted programs due to the strikes in Hollywood, the category's 9.4% monthly viewing increase was almost entirely attributable to sports programming.

The broadcast sports genre was up again in October (+15%) after recording a massive 360% monthly increase in September. Sports viewing, which was boosted most notably by NFL games and the MLB World Series, made up nearly 30% of all broadcast viewership. The drama genre followed with 18% of the category's viewership. In October 2022 by comparison, the sports genre made up 25% of the broadcast category, while the drama genre led with nearly 27%. Also on a year-over-year basis, broadcast viewership was down by 5.6%, and the category has lost 1.4 share points.

Cable viewership was up slightly in October (+0.9%), benefiting from increases in sports (+19%) and news (17%) viewing. News led in viewership across all cable genres and made up nearly 22% of the category's total viewing. Despite these double-digit gains and cable's nearly 1% monthly growth, it wasn't enough to keep pace with the total TV trend—the category lost 0.3 share points in October to finish at 29.5% of total TV usage, cable's smallest share to date.

Trending in the opposite direction of broadcast, streaming gave back share for a third consecutive month despite usage remaining mostly flat with September (-0.6%). While streaming recorded a loss of 0.9 share points in October, finishing the month with 36.6% of total TV usage, roughly 0.5 pts. were lost due to a methodological update*.

Streaming usage was largely stable across platforms this month. Some notable highlights include:

  • Netflix retained eight of October's top 10 streaming titles, despite the streamer declining 5.6% in usage and losing 0.6 share points vs. September.
  • Suits (on Netflix and Peacock) was the top streaming title for a fourth straight month, even with viewership down a third from September.
  • The other two top streaming titles, Bluey and Elemental, belonged to Disney+, whose viewership was up 1.5% to keep its share of TV at 1.9%.
  • Amazon Prime Video retained a 3.6% share of TV (a personal best reached in September) and usage was up 1%. The streamer continued to see peaks in usage on Thursdays, benefitting from NFL Thursday Night Football.

Linear (live TV) streaming via MVPD (multichannel video programming distributors) and vMVPD (virtual multichannel video programming distributors) apps represented 6.4% of total television usage in October. Linear streaming is included in the appropriate broadcast or cable category, and is not included in the streaming category.

* This iteration of The Gauge includes a methodology update that more accurately differentiates viewing to Hulu's SVOD and vMVPD (Hulu Live) components. This update does not reflect a change in consumption, rather, it reflects how this viewing is being credited within The Gauge. The net impact is roughly a half (0.5) share point, which affects both Hulu SVOD and total streaming.

About The Gauge™
The Gauge™ is Nielsen's monthly snapshot of total broadcast, cable and streaming consumption that occurs through a television screen. The Gauge is underpinned by Nielsen's National TV measurement service and Nielsen Streaming Platform Ratings, the latter of which provides audience measurement data that details the amount of time consumers spend streaming and on which platforms. This broad look at platform usage provides complimentary insights to Nielsen Streaming Content Ratings, which details viewing to SVOD content at the title, program and episode levels. By leveraging Nielsen's geographically representative panel of real people and big data, and showcasing both micro and macro-level data sets, The Gauge provides the industry with a holistic view of the content that audiences are watching, as well as when and by whom.

The latest edition of The Gauge is always available at www.nielsen.com/thegauge.

About Nielsen
Nielsen shapes the world's media and content as a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics. Through our understanding of people and their behaviors across all channels and platforms, we empower our clients with independent and actionable intelligence so they can connect and engage with their audiences—now and into the future. Nielsen operates around the world in more than 55 countries. Learn more at www.nielsen.com and connect with us on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram).

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SOURCE Nielsen

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