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NBA Playoffs and ABC Score With TV Watch-Time: TV By the Numbers

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat attempts a shot against Bogdan Bogdanovic #13 of the Atlanta Hawks during the second half in Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round at State Farm Arena on April 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Image credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of April 18-24, 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).

With the NBA playoffs in full swing, the league is once again the most-watched program in this week’s watch-time ranking. From April 18-24, NBA playoff games accounted for 5.06% of all TV minutes watched — up from 3.12% the previous week.

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • Chicago Fire is hot both live and in syndication, as the show climbs the ladder from No. 9 to No. 5 by minutes watched week-over-week.
  • NBA playoffs action means more eyeballs on highlights as well, as SportsCenter makes modest week-over-week watch-time gains, moving from No. 10 to No. 8.
  • The NASCAR Cup Series’ GEICO 500 race drove a week-over-week minutes-watched increase from No. 47 to No. 22.
  • Paw Patrol nabbed more watch-time compared to a week ago, leaping from No. 41 to No. 21 in our ranking.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent shared duration April 18-24

ABC narrowly tops the most-watched network rankings for a second straight week, thanks in part to the continued attention paid to the NBA playoffs. As a result, ABC scores 6.76% of minutes watched for the week (vs. 6.69% for CBS).

More insights around the most-watched networks from April 18-24:

  • Speaking of the NBA playoffs, fellow league partner TNT jumps from No. 11 to No. 6 week-over-week, thanks to an abundance of games all week.
  • HGTV moves from No. 10 to No. 9 by watch-time week-over-week, with that shift  fueled by a decent-sized bounce from 1.76% of minutes watched to 2.03%.
  • Some of the other cable networks to increase share of watch-time week-over-week: IFC (from 1.94% to 1.99%), Hallmark Channel (1.72% to 1.77%) and Nickelodeon (1.25% to 1.30%).

Most-watched networks on TV by percent shared duration April 18-24

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 collected nearly 5.3 billion TV ad impressions from April 18-24 – 10.43% of the impressions total for the week. That’s nearly six times the number of impressions for the No. 2 program, Good Morning America.

More data about the top programs by TV ad impressions:

  • NASCAR Cup Series coverage flies to No. 11 by TV ad impressions, nearly doubling impressions compared to the previous week.
  • News and talk programming delivered ad impressions en masse once again, accounting for more than half of the top 25 shows in our ranking this week.
  • Daytime soap operas increased impressions week-over-week, as The Young and The Restless (up 7.9%), General Hospital (up 23.0%) and Days Of Our Lives (up 11.8%) all climb.
  • American Idol remains among the top five programs by ad impressions as the show enters the live show portion of the competition.

Top shows by TV ad impressions April 18-24

CBS is on top of our ad-impressions-by-network ranking again from April 18-24, with almost 14.5% of TV ad impressions during the timeframe. While primetime programming accounts for 36.2% of those impressions, daytime isn’t far behind at 34.2% for the week.

Additional insights around the top networks by impressions from April 18-24:

  • NBA playoff games and resulting coverage vault TNT from No. 9 to No. 5 in our ranking, more than doubling impressions week-over-week.
  • Fox Sports 1 delivered 31% more TV ad impressions week-over-week, thanks in large part to USFL action and NHRA drag racing.
  • NASCAR delivered for Fox, as the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and RaceDay accounted for nearly 39% of the network’s impressions for the week.
  • Cable news continues to retain its ability to serve a significant number of ad impressions, as Fox News, CNN and MSNBC alone accounted for over 19% of the total for the week.

Top networks by TV ad impressions April 18-24

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