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Netflix Again Tops SRG’s ‘Must Keep TV’ Rankings

Netflix original limited series 'Squid Game'
(Image credit: Netflix)

Despite a disappointing subscriber loss in the first quarter and expectations that Q2 will be even worse, Netflix again topped the Solutions Research Group (SRG) annual “Must Keep TV” list for the fourth consecutive year, beating broadcasters ABC and CBS while fellow streamers Peacock and Paramount Plus gained the most ground among viewers.

SRG’s annual “Must Keep TV” research is based on 1,400 interviews with U.S. consumers aged 12 and older and was conducted in late April 2022. This is the 15th edition of the research since its inception in 2007.

While the top 10 networks and programmers in 2022 remained the same as in prior years, there was plenty of movement otherwise, with TV brands like The CW (rising five spots to No. 13), AMC, Cartoon Network, A&E, TBS, ION and Syfy all showing strong momentum.

Paramount Plus made the biggest move, rising from the 37th spot in 2021 to the No. 12 position in 2022. Peacock, which Comcast’s NBCUniversal launched in 2020, rose from No. 29 in 2021 to No. 16 this year. According to SRG, the only major steamer that didn’t make the top 20 or make a major leap in the rankings was Apple TV Plus, which rose two spots in 2022 to No. 31 from No. 33 in 2021.


(Image credit: SRG)

Among women aged 25-54, streamers took six of the top 10 “Must Keep TV” spots, more evidence of how that delivery mechanism is gaining dominance in the space. Paramount Plus was the newcomer at No. 10, while Netflix, Hulu and ABC secured the top three positions, followed by Amazon Prime Video, CBS, NBC, Disney Plus,  Fox, and HBO Max.  

HGTV was bumped out of the Top 10 for the first time since 2016, while other brands that lost ground in the demo include Food Network (No. 18, down seven spots), Hallmark, PBS, AMC, History and Nickelodeon.

Brands with strong momentum among women 25-54 include Disney (No. 11, up from No.  20), CW (No. 13 this year, up from No. 27), Peacock (No. 15 up from No. 18) and Lifetime (No.7 vs. No. 32 last year).


(Image credit: SRG)

Netflix topped the charts among Black audiences for the third year in a row, followed by ABC, CBS, Fox and Prime Video. Newcomers to the segment include The CW and Disney Plus and BET maintains its Top 10 standing among Black audiences, coming in at No. 8 for the year.

Netflix came in first place for Latinx audiences for the fifth year in a row, with Hulu, Prime Video, ABC and Fox rounding out the Top 5. ESPN regained its spot in the Top 10 this year, in the No. 10 position, while Telemundo and Univision continued their strong showings, ranking No. 11 and No. 13 in the segment.

Streamers and networks also showed strength with Asian-American audiences, with Netflix, ABC, NBC, CBS and Prime Video leading the way. ESPN ranked No. 9 and is the top cable network in this segment, while CNN came in 10th.

For LGBTQ2+ audiences, Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu took the top three spots, followed by broadcaster ABC. Networks CBS and NBC are ranked No. 7 and No. 8 respectively, while CNN made a strong showing in the eleventh spot. Paramount Plus and Peacock came in at No. 10 and No. 15, respectively.

Among Americans with disabilities, Netflix is again in the No. 1 spot, followed by ABC and CBS. Prime Video, NBC, Fox, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Max and Paramount Plus round out the top 10. ■


(Image credit: SRG)

Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.