Cable Shows Get Most Viewer Attention: TVision 2Q Study

The shows that attracted the most attention from their viewers were mostly on cable during the second quarter, according to a new report from research company TVision Insights.

The show gathering the most attention during the quarter was TLC’s My Big Fat Fabulous Life, with an attention index of 184.

The other highest rated shows on cable were A&E’s Born This Way, E!’s Second Wives Club, Animal Planet’s Alaska: The Last Frontier: The Frozen Edge, TBS’s The Detour, FX’s The Americans, Travel Channel’s Expedition Unknown; AMC’s Preacher, VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race and TLC’s Return to Amish.

The top broadcast show, NBC’s Running Wild With Bear Grylls, would have finished 10th among cable networks with a 142 index.

Other top ranked broadcast shows included NBC’s HollywoodGame Night, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, CBS’s Ransom and CBS’s Superior Donuts.

“Because cable includes a variety of specialty networks like TLC and A&E, their audiences tend to be more intentional about seeking them out, and thus more focused on the on-screen activity,” the TVision report said. “While broadcast boasts a much larger audience, cable programming like My Big Fat Fabulous Life can be a great way for advertisers to reach a highly engaged viewership."

In terms of the broadcast networks, CBS had the highest attention index for three of the five dayparts TVision measures: 7-11 p.m., 11 p.m . to 5 a.m. and 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.

The top advertisers in generating attention was Prudential. “While many brands see their attention fluctuate over the course of their commercials, Prudential was best able to keep viewers eyes on the screen throughout its ads,” said Mark Green, chief strategy officer at TVision Insights

The top single commercial was for Lowe’s, and was titled "The Moment: Char-Broil Advantage." The other spots with the highest Creative Attention Scores were from HauteLook, Car Gurus, Sonic Drive-In and Toyota.

"Whether you’re an advertiser, media seller, or industry thought leader, you need to incorporate screen attention into your understanding of TV’s effectiveness,” Green said.

TVision Insights measures eyes-on-screen attention to every second of programming and advertising for its panel of TV viewers. The data for this report was collected from April 1 to June 30 from 7,500 people in Boston, Chicago and Dallas.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.