With some of the highest-profile programming in television, NBC generated the most viewer attention among the broadcast networks during primetime in the first quarter, according to a TVision Insight report.
NBC, which had the Olympics and the Super Bowl, generated the most eyes-on-screen attention during the quarter, TVision's Q1 report found. CBS was second followed by ABC and Fox.
The quarter’s bigger events all generated above-average attention. The Golden Globes had an attention index of 122.8. The Super Bowl, a close game with an exciting finish, scored at 117.1. The Winter Olympics did a 114.9, and the Grammys recorded a 106.1.
The broadcast series that drew the most attention were (in order) NBC’s Little Big Shots, the CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Valor, and NBC’s Champions and Will & Grace.
Top cable shows were Investigation Discovery’s Married With Secrets and Bride Killa, Travel Channel's Food Paradise, Science Channel's Tesla's Death Ray: A Murder Declassified and TBS's The Detour.
The top cable shows have higher scores because cable audiences tend to see out interest-specific niche programming.
The high scores for the ID shows indicated that salacious content is hard to ignore, Mark Green, TVision Insights chief strategy officer, said in the report.
“ID was home to four of the quarter’s eight most engaging cable programs, drawing rapt attention with provocative shows like Married With Secrets and Bride Killa,” he noted.
The president's State of the Union address, which aired on Jan. 30, yielded some interesting insights, Green said.
The speech aired on all four major broadcast networks, but "viewers watching on each network gave the address different levels of attention,” Green said. “Audience affinity for content drives attention, and in this case Fox’s audience found President Trump’s address more compelling.”
Fox’s State of the Union coverage had a 109 index, and CBS's had a 107.1 index, both above average. Attention was below average on ABC, which had a 95.3 index, and lowest on NBC, which had a 93.4 attention index.
Older viewers are the most attentive to programs, according to TVision, with viewers 65-plus and adults 55 to 64 having the highest indexes.
TVision also measures commercials and when it comes to ads, the 55-to-64 year-old group pays the most attention, but the second most attentive group is the 35-to-44 year-olds.
Overall the ads that grabbed the most attention were those for Capital One, Arby’s, Wonderful Halos, YouTube TV and Voya Financial.
The brands that garnered the most attention were the Toyota Camry, Choice Hotels, Ace Hardware, Volvo and Cadillac.
For one commercial TVision looked at, action scenes drew the attention of sports fans, A Domino’s ad performed better on sports content than on non-sports programming. Attention peaked when the action during the commercial — a tree crashing into a car, a delivery driver falling to the ground — mirrored the rough-and-tumble sporting events viewers were watching.
TVision said attentive impressions made ads more effective. TV ads with attentive viewers were four times more predictive of sales results in KFC store visits than non-attentive impressions. The collaboration between TVision Insights and Sense360 revealed a statistically significant relationship between store visits and ads that scored high for attention.
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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.