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State of the Screens

The NFL and Yellowstone Out-Duel the Competition

By January 11, 2023January 17th, 2023No Comments

Five big questions re: 2022 TV ratings:
1) Which networks had the largest primetime audience?
2) Which telecasts had the largest audience?
3) How much of the top TV telecasts are sports?
4) What program types were most popular in past decades?
5) What share of viewership is live?

Big question #1: Which networks had the largest primetime audience?

Top 10 networks by total primetime viewers in 2022 (YoY growth) according to Variety:
1) NBC – 5.2M (↓ 7%)
2) CBS – 5.1M (↓ 8%)
3) ABC – 3.9M (↓ 6%)
4) Fox – 3.2M (↓ 14%)
5) Fox News – 2.4M (↓ 1%)
6) ESPN – 1.9M (↑ 14%)
7) Univision – 1.3M (↓ 9%)
8) MSNBC – 1.2M (↓ 22%)
9) HGTV – 1.1M (↓ 13%)
10) Hallmark Channel – 1.0M (↓ 9%)

Big question #2: Which telecasts had the largest audience?

Top 10 TV telecasts of 2022 by total viewers according to Variety:
1) Super Bowl LVI: Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati (NBC) – 99.7M
2) NFC Championship: LA Rams vs. San Francisco (Fox) – 50.4M
3) AFC Playoff: Kansas City vs. Buffalo (CBS) – 43.2M
4) NFC Playoff: San Francisco vs. Green Bay (Fox) – 37.2M
5) NFL Playoff: Kansas City vs. Pittsburgh (NBC) – 29.1M
6) AFC Wildcard Playoff: New England vs. Buffalo (CBS) – 26.5M
7) NFL Thursday Night Special: New England vs. Minnesota (NBC) – 24.9M
8) NFL Sunday Night Football: Tampa Bay vs. Dallas (NBC) – 23.4M
9) College Football Championship: Georgia vs. Alabama (ESPN) – 22.5M
10) Winter Olympics Sunday Prime 2 (NBC) – 21.8M

Share of top 100 TV telecasts of 2022 by network:
1) CBS – 29%
2) NBC – 26%
3) ABC – 13%
4) Fox – 12%
5) ESPN – 9%
6) Paramount – 6%
7) Amazon – 4%
8) TBS – 1%

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Big question #3: How much of the top TV telecasts are sports?

Share of top 100 TV telecasts of 2022 by program type:
1) National Football League – 43%
2) 
NCIS (CBS) – 10%
3) 
60 Minutes (CBS) – 8%
4) 
FBI (CBS) – 7%
5) 
Major League Baseball – 6%
6) 
NBA Basketball – 6%
7) 
Winter Olympics (NBC) – 6%
8) 
Yellowstone – 6%
9) 
College Football – 3%
10) 
NCAA Basketball – 2%
11) 
Chicago Fire – 1%
12) 
Grammy Awards (CBS) – 1%
13) 
Oscars (ABC) – 1%

Big question #4: What program types were most popular in past decades?

Top program type by decade according to Nielsen:
1) 1950s – Variety/Sketch
2) 1960s – Comedy/Sitcom
3) 1970s – Comedy/Sitcom
4) 1980s – Comedy/Sitcom AND Drama
5) 1990s – Comedy/Sitcom
6) 2000s – Drama
7) 2010s – Drama

Big question #5: What share of viewership is live?

Where viewers watch scripted programming on linear TV, according to the Hollywood Reporter:
1) Same-day – 40-50%
2) Streaming – 30-40%
3) DVR – 20-25%

Interesting: NCIS and Grey’s Anatomy generate 75% of viewing time from library episodes.

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.