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‘Animation Domination’ Deep Dive: Viewership Trends for Fox’s Cartoon Block

This fall Fox refreshed its Sunday “Animation Domination” block, adding new series Bless the Harts to long-running hits The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers and Family Guy. Starting at 8 p.m. ET, the four-pack of cartoons offers an alternative to the Sunday night NFL game each week. To examine viewership insights around this signature TV block, we turned to Inscape, the TV data company with glass-level insights from a panel of 12 million smart TVs. And to round out the picture, data from iSpot.tv about advertiser support for these shows.

First, a look at audience crossover among all four of the shows so far this season. A note about methodology: You have to do more than just flip past a station with your remote to count as a “crossover viewer” in Inscape’s system. For the data below, the minimum viewing threshold is 10 minutes.

At the high end of crossover: 85% of Bless the Harts viewers watched The Simpsons, and 67% watched Bob’s Burgers. On the low end: only 19% of Family Guy fans watched Bless the Harts, and 26% of The Simpsons viewers watched Bless the Harts — which is interesting not only given the high crossover occurring with the reverse, but also because Bless the Harts airs right after The Simpsons. At the high end of crossover for Simpsons fans is Bob’s Burgers at 37%.

Also of note is viewership location for these series. While The Simpsons and Bless the Harts have noticeable heavier Midwest tune-in, the Bob’s Burgers and Family Guy audiences are generally more spread out (on the heatmaps below, the darker the color the more households were tuning in).

We were also curious about time-shifting trends for these series. Overall, The Simpsons was more likely to be watched live, and Family Guy had the highest rates of DVR and OTT viewership.

Crossover Among Advertisers

Using iSpot.tv, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company, we examined the four series to see which brands and industries are placing bets on multiple players in the animation block (not including TV network promos, new episodes only).

Four brands racked up top-five impression-counts for multiple shows: Microsoft, GEICO, Domino’s and Samsung Mobile. Specifically, Microsoft owned some of the most-seen ads during The Simpsons, Bless the Harts and Family Guy, while GEICO had ads with top-five impression-counts during The Simpsons and Bless the Harts. Domino’s appeared in the top-five brands for impressions during The Simpsons and Bless the Harts and Samsung Mobile was ranked high for impressions during Bob’s Burgers and Family Guy.

Taking a broader look at industries, quick-serve restaurants were in the top five for highest impressions for each of the shows, and wireless companies appeared in the top five for Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons and Family Guy (for Bless the Harts, wireless companies were No. 8 for impressions generated).

Also worth noting for Fox in general: Its portfolio of channels were shown to be strong drivers of ROI in a recent iSpot study, delivering an average incremental lift of +28.1% in what’s known as the iSpot Lift Rating — the percentage of the audience that’s been converted by TV ads, i.e., moved to engage in a desired action such as a website or app visit. And, wireless telecom and quick-serve restaurants were two of the marketer categories that did particularly well in terms of outperforming average conversion rates.

Looking specifically at the iSpot Lift Rating for September, wireless carriers advertising on Fox had an average lift of 28.61%. Note: that is for Fox programming overall, not just the “Animation Domination” block.