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Network Spotlight: A Deep Dive Into Advertising and Viewership Trends for Fox

As summer (sadly) begins to wind down, at least we can look forward to fall TV. To help usher in the new season, we’re shining a spotlight on the major networks.

Today’s focus: Fox. We’re examining recent advertising and viewership trends from the network (Jan. 1 through May 31, bypassing the summer lull) using data from, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company, and Inscape, the TV data company with glass-level insights from a panel of more than 11 million smart TVs. Also below: the fall Fox shows that are showing lots of viewer interest online using insights from video measurement company Tubular Labs.

Related: Fox Agrees to Acquire Credible Labs For $265M

Key Advertising Stats via iSpot

  • 39.9 billion TV ad impressions
  • $1.43 billion in estimated TV spend
  • Top-spending brands: GEICO, Progressive, Ford, T-Mobile, Chevrolet
  • Most-seen (non-network promo) spot: Visa’s “CVS Health: The Most Amazing” featuring Drew Brees (482.3 million impressions)

Ford, KFC, Pepsi Score High for Attention has attention analytics that measure the propensity for viewers to interrupt ad play during a commercial, called the iSpot Attention Index (interruptions include changing the channel, pulling up the guide, fast-forwarding or turning off the TV, and the higher the score, the better). Three big brands — Ford, KFC and Pepsi — were particularly strong over the winter/spring both with brand iSpot Attention Index overall and individual spots.

Ford racked up 584.5 million impressions during Fox programming and had an iSpot Attention Index of 108, meaning its ads had 8% fewer interruptions than average. One of its key attention-grabbing ads was “Co-Pilot360 Technology,” promoting the 2019 Edge, with 185.1 million impressions and an iSpot Attention Index of 159 (59% fewer interruptions).

KFC ads generated 583.3 million impressions and had an average iSpot Attention Index of 124 (24% fewer interruptions). Its “Abundance Bowls” spot garnered 266.7 million impressions with an iSpot Attention Index of 109 (9% fewer interruptions).

Pepsi ads resulted in 418.5 million impressions with an average iSpot Attention Index of 117 (17% fewer interruptions). Its “Ice the Kicker” commercial featuring Ron Rivera and Devin Funchess generated 258.2 million impressions and had an iSpot Attention Index of 127 (27% fewer interruptions)

Attention Trends by Daypart and Day of the Week

We also looked at attention trends by daypart and day of the week using the iSpot Attention Score, which gives the average percentage of an ad that is played across TV devices. Looking at daypart, the highest iSpot Attention Scores on average came from weekend days (91.75), late fringe a.m. (91.14) and day time (90.72).

For days of the week scoring high, Wednesdays (90.94), Tuesdays (90.93) and Fridays (90.73) led the way.

Viewership Insights

We looked at viewer trends across some of Fox’s major shows using insights from Inscape, including show crossover and season-over-season crossover.

First, a look at the percentage of crossover among five of its series: The Masked Singer, 9-1-1, Empire, The Simpsons and Last Man Standing. A note about methodology: You have to do more than just flip past a station with your remote to count as a “crossover viewer” in Inscape’s system. For the data below, the minimum viewing threshold is 10 minutes.

On the high end: 37% of 9-1-1 viewers tuned into Last Man Standing; on the low end: only 12% of The Simpsons fans tuned into Empire, while 13% of Last Man Standing viewers watched Empire. But interestingly, Empire had high-ish crossover with each of the other shows, ranging from 29% (The Simpsons) to 37% (9-1-1).

Speaking of Empire, this iconic drama will wrap up for good after its sixth season, which premieres Sept. 24. We took a look at its audience loyalty with a season-over-season crossover analysis.

Of the fans who watched season four (Sept. 27, 2017 through May 23, 2018), 41% came back for season five (Sept. 26, 2018 through May 8, 2019). For season-five viewers, 43% had watched season four.

What’s Poised to Be Big in 2019?

Though it’s impossible to entirely predict which shows will be most successful this fall, one hint lies in the impressions for trailers (i.e., high impressions = the network putting big bets on a given show) that have aired this summer. Looking at data from iSpot, we can see the most impressions delivered by trailers for the following Fox shows from July 1 through Aug. 15:

  • Prodigal Son (212.1 million)
  • The Masked Singer (198 million)
  • Almost Family (167.1 million)
  • Bless the Harts (106.9 million)

Data from video measurement company Tubular Labs expands that view further by gauging the popularity of trailers for Fox shows across social platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Since May 1, some of Fox’s most-viewed social videos have been trailers for fall TV shows both new and old. The Facebook trailer for new show Prodigal Son (starring Tom Payne) was the fifth-most viewed video for Fox Networks in the timeframe, with over 6.9 million views. Almost Family — originally dubbed Not Just Me — stars Brittany Snow and earned 6.6 million views for its first (now-deleted) trailer on Facebook. Filthy Rich, a U.S. remake of a New Zealand show of the same name, stars Kim Cattrall and received 6.4 million views for its Facebook trailer. Those show trailers were also among the most-viewed Fox Networks videos on YouTube as well.

Notably, the biggest Fox Networks video winners were Masterchef and BH90210. The latter had six of the top 20 social videos (by views) in the timeframe, while the former had five of the top 25. Both of those shows are currently running, however, and are slated to wrap up just as the fall TV season begins.