Skip to main content

ABC Wins Watch-Time, Impressions With NFL Draft and NBA Playoffs: TV By the Numbers

Jameson Williams poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell onstage after being selected 12th by the Detroit Lions during round one of the 2022 NFL Draft on April 28, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Image credit: David Becker/Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of April 25-May 1, showcasing the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Vizio’s Inscape, and network and show TV ad impressions insights via iSpot.tv.

Most-Watched Shows and Networks

Via Inscape, Vizio’s TV data product with glass-level insights from a panel of more than 19 million active and opted-in smart TVs. Data is linear, live TV only and includes all episode types (new and reruns). Rankings are by percent share duration (i.e., time spent watching).

NBA playoff games are TV’s most-watched programming again in this week’s watch-time ranking. From April 25-May 1, NBA games accounted for 3.53% of all TV minutes watched as viewers tuned into the end of the first round of the postseason and the start of conference semifinal series.

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • NFL Draft coverage across ABC, ESPN and NFL Network scored 2.52% of watch-time as teams picked 262 new players in three days.
  • NCIS: New Orleans jumps from No. 20 to No. 12 week-over-week, and is one of seven procedurals among our top 25 programs.
  • Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives pulls into our top 25 rankings at No. 22, up from No. 32 the previous week.
  • With so much NFL Draft and NBA action, viewers were bound to miss some highlights, which helped fuel SportsCenter’s rise from No. 8 to No. 5 week-over-week.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent shared duration April 25-May 1

Coverage of the NFL Draft and NBA playoffs helped ABC maintain its spot as the most-watched network for the third consecutive week. ABC tallied 7.26% of minutes watched for the week, which is up from 6.76% from April 18-24.

More insights around the most-watched networks from April 25-May 1:

  • Speaking of the draft, the three-day event was enough to push ESPN up from No. 7 to No. 6 week-over-week, swapping places with TNT.
  • IFC rode syndicated sitcoms like Two and a Half Men and Everybody Loves Raymond to a modest increase from No. 10 to No. 9 by watch-time week-over-week.
  • More baseball meant more minutes watched for TBS, as MLB (with an assist from wrestling) drove a one-spot rise from No. 19 to No. 18 week-over-week.
  • The CW’s primetime slate helped push the network to No. 20 this week, up from No. 23 the week of April 18-24.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent shared duration April 25-May1

Top Shows and Networks by TV Ad Impressions

Via iSpot.tv, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company. Rankings are by TV ad impressions, for new episodes only. 

NBA playoff games delivered the most TV ad impressions from April 25 to May 1, with 3.92 billion (7.73% of the impressions total for the week). That’s more than double the number of impressions for the No. 2 programming, the three-day NFL Draft.

More data about the top programs by TV ad impressions:

  • Despite “just” moving from No. 6 to No. 5 week-over-week, SportsCenter impressions climbed by 25% when compared to April 18-24.
  • MSNBC’s Morning Joe is one of several news-focused programs on the move, jumping from No. 30 to No. 25 by impressions week-over-week.
  • Fox News’ Jesse Watters Primetime is also new to our rankings this week, climbing from No. 26 to No. 22 by impressions.
  • Despite both shows each dropping by one spot in our rankings week-over-week, both Good Morning America (up 6%) and Today (up 12%) increased impressions week-over-week.

Top shows by TV ad impressions April 25-May 1

Tentpole programming paid off for ABC, which seizes the top spot in our ad-impressions-by-network ranking from April 25 to May 1. ABC’s NBA playoffs and NFL Draft broadcasts were a big part of the network delivering 13.9% of the week’s TV ad impressions.

Additional insights around the top networks by impressions from April 25-May 1:

  • Speaking of the NFL Draft, NFL Network’s simulcast of the event helped push the cable channel to No. 20 in our rankings (up considerably from No. 59 the previous week).
  • Cable news keeps climbing, as both Fox News (up 9%) and MSNBC (up 5%) increased impressions week-over-week.
  • Car racing keeps up the pace for Fox Sports 1, accounting for about 50% of the network’s impressions for the week as FS1 soars from No. 19 to No. 14 in our ranking.
  • Primetime and daytime programming were responsible for the lion’s share of CBS impressions for the week, combining for nearly 71% on the week.

Top networks by TV ad impressions April 25-May 1

John Cassillo is an analyst and contributor with TV[R]EV.