NFL Preseason Games Catch Most Watch-Time: TV By the Numbers

Lance McCutcheon #82 of the Los Angeles Rams makes a touchdown catch over Brandon Sebastian #38, to take a 29-22 lead, during a 29-22 win in a preseason game at SoFi Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
(Image credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of August 8-14, 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).

With preseason action now in full swing, the National Football League sprints to the top of our watch-time ranking. From August 8-14, the NFL scored 2.24% of minutes watched, up from 0.55% the previous week when there was only one game.

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • In the lead-up to the annual Little League World Series, Little League baseball picked up 1.30% of watch-time while appearing on ESPN and ESPN2.
  • Aligning with the FBI’s search of former President Trump’s residence, minutes-watched climbed week-over-week for Tucker Carlson Tonight (from No. 26 to No. 22) and Hannity (from No. 29 to No. 24).
  • The FedEx St. Jude Championship, which was decided by a playoff on Sunday, propelled the PGA Tour from No. 17 to No. 8 by watch-time week-over-week.
  • Chicago Fire syndicated airings jump from No. 32 to No. 14 week-over-week, barely trailing Chicago P.D. by watch-time.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent shared duration August 8-14.

NBC moves from No. 3 to No. 1 week-over-week on our list of most-watched networks. Thanks in part to the weekend’s PGA Tour action, the network tallied 6.13% of watch-time, which is up from 5.95% the previous week.

Additional insights around the most-watched networks from August 8-14:

  • All three major cable news networks grew watch-time week-over-week as a result of Mar-a-Lago FBI search coverage. Fox News moves from No. 4 to No. 2, CNN jumps from No. 12 to No. 7, and MSNBC rises from No. 14 to No. 9.
  • Preseason games fueled NFL Network's return to our ranking, appearing at No. 12 by minutes watched after being absent since spring's NFL Draft.
  • Speaking of sports, NFL and MLB games helped push The CW’s modest jump from No. 24 to No. 22 by watch-time week-over-week.
  • Instead of professionals, it was amateur players pacing ESPN’s run from No. 9 to No. 6 by watch-time week-over-week, as Little League baseball accounts for over 51% of the network’s minutes watched.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent shared duration August 8-14.

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. 

Good Morning America keeps its No. 1 spot by TV ad impressions, delivering 2.39% from August 8-14 (up slightly from 2.35% the previous week).

More insights about the top programs by TV ad impressions:

  • Week one with a full NFL preseason slate elevated the league from No. 16 to No. 5 by TV ad impressions week-over-week.
  • Sports-related programming accounts for five of the top 10 programs in our ranking, led by SportsCenter (1.95% of impressions), then MLB games (1.88%), NFL (1.61%), Little League baseball (1.53%) and PGA Tour golf (1.44%).
  • With two episodes from August 8-14 (vs. one from Aug. 1-7), America’s Got Talent leaps from No. 22 to No. 12 by TV ad impressions week-over-week.
  • Daytime soap operas account for four of the top 25 programs by TV ad impressions, including The Young and The Restless (No. 8), Days of Our Lives (No. 18), General Hospital (No. 23) and The Bold and The Beautiful (No. 24).

Top shows by TV ad impressions August 8-14.

Fox News retains its spot at No. 1 in our TV-ad-impressions-by-network ranking for the seventh week in a row. In part due to weekend coverage of the Trump FBI search, the network delivered 14.09% of impressions, up from 13.46% the previous week.

Additional insights around the top networks by impressions:

  • Coinciding with cable news viewership rising, TV ad impressions also climbed across the three major networks. Combined ad impressions for Fox News, MSNBC and CNN were 28.63% of TV – versus 24.87% the previous week.
  • Preseason games pushed NFL Network to 5.4x more TV ad impressions week-over-week, as the network sits at No. 10 in our ranking for Aug. 8-14.
  • Fox TV ad impressions climb from 1.48% to 1.91% week-over-week, as MLB impressions nearly double on the network week-over-week.
  • NBC increases TV ad impressions week-over-week from 10.64% to 10.73%, thanks in part to America’s Got Talent and golf.

Top networks by TV ad impressions August 8-14.

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