College Football Delivers Watch-Time, Ad Impressions Wins for ABC: TV By the Numbers

Raleek Brown #14 of the USC Trojans scores a touchdown, to take a 21-7 over the Rice Owls, during the second quarter at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 3, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
(Image credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Aug. 29-Sept. 4, highlighting the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Vizio’s Inscape, and network and show TV ad impressions insights via

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).

Week one action stretching from Thursday through Sunday gave college football the top spot in our watch-time ranking for Aug. 29-Sept. 4. Across a variety of networks, the sport accounted for 6.05% of minutes watched -- up from 0.87% the previous week, when there were just a handful of games played.

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • Serena Williams's impending retirement helped push U.S. Open tennis watch-time to No. 2 in our ranking, at 2.45%.
  • A Labor Day weekend marathon on Paramount Network propelled Yellowstone to No. 6 in our watch-time ranking (after not being listed at all the previous week).
  • Kids shows earn two spots among the top 25 programs for the week, as SpongeBob SquarePants jumps from No. 33 to No. 21 by watch-time week-over-week, while Paw Patrol hops from No. 27 to No. 22.
  • The Golden Girls springs into our ranking at No. 24, up from No. 26 the previous week.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent shared duration August 29-September 4.

ABC flies to the top of our list of most-watched networks, thanks in part to the return of college football. The network secured 7.54% of watch-time from Aug. 29-Sept. 4, up from 6.08% the previous week.

Additional insights around the most-watched networks from the week:

  • College football was also a boost for ESPN and ESPN2, as the former increased week-over-week minutes watched from 2.56% to 4.34%, and the latter climbed from 0.75% to 1.48%.
  • Paramount Network’s aforementioned Yellowstone marathon helped propel it from No. 46 to No. 20 week-over-week, as viewers continued to catch up on/rewatch the hit show.
  • Bravo moves from No. 28 to No. 25 week-over-week, in part due to The Real Housewives of Atlanta season finale (it was the top show on the network by watch-time).
  • Investigation Discovery leaps from No. 18 to No. 14 by minutes watched week-over-week.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent shared duration August 29-September 4.

Top Shows and Networks by TV Ad Impressions

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

College football’s first full weekend delivers 13.86% of TV ad impressions to take the No. 1 spot. That’s nearly 6x the share of impressions of the No. 2 program, the 2022 U.S. Open tennis tournament.

More insights about the top programs by TV ad impressions:

  • Telemundo’s Infiel: Historia de un engaño springs to No. 25 by TV ad impressions, as the thriller rises from No. 62 the previous week.
  • Fox & Friends jumps from No. 11 to No. 6 in our ranking week-over-week, as it grew its share of impressions to 1.74%.
  • America’s Got Talent moves into the top 10 of our ranking, with 1.24% of TV ad impressions on the week.
  • Fellow reality competition show Big Brother also jumps week-over-week, from No. 20 to No. 14 in our ranking.

Top shows by TV ad impressions August 29-September 4.

Disney-owned ABC scores the top spot in our TV-ad-impressions-by-network ranking, in part due to the return of college football. The network delivered 15.25% of impressions, up from 10.66% the previous week (when it was ranked No. 2).

Additional insights around the top networks by impressions:

  • College football offered a week-over-week boost for other Disney-owned networks as well, as ESPN (from No. 8 to No. 6), ESPN2 (from No. 18 to No. 10), SEC Network (from No. 80 to No. 20) and ESPNU (from No. 52 to No. 21) all rose.
  • Bravo moves from No. 24 to No. 19 in our ranking week-over-week, thanks to new episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Southern Charm and The Real Housewives of Atlanta, among other programs.
  • HLN is a new addition to our ranking week-over-week, with Saturday programming accounting for nearly a quarter of the network’s ad impressions.
  • USA Network nearly doubled its share of TV ad impressions week-over-week (from 0.70% to 1.38%), thanks in particular to the NASCAR Cup Series’ Cook Out Southern 500 race.

Top networks by TV ad impressions August 29-September 4.

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