NFL Pushes NBC to Watch-Time No. 1, CBS Wins Ad Impressions: TV By the Numbers

Aaron Patrick #94 of the Denver Broncos dives to attempt a tackle against Ray-Ray McCloud III #3 of the San Francisco 49ers at Empower Field at Mile High on September 25, 2022 in Denver, Colorado.
(Image credit: Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Sept. 19-25, 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).

Week three of the NFL season kept the league’s games atop our watch-time ranking for another week. From Sept. 19-25, the NFL accounted for 6.49% of minutes watched (down slightly from 6.78% the previous week).

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • The NFL is not the only live sporting event in the top 10 of our ranking, as college football (No. 2), golf’s President’s Cup (No. 4) and Major League Baseball (No. 6) also make appearances.
  • Beyond the President’s Cup, other week-over-week newcomers to our ranking include separate special TV events around Queen Elizabeth II's funeral (No. 12 and No. 13, respectively) and The Voice's season premiere (No. 15).
  • Chicago Fire’s own season premiere also helped fuel a leap from No. 41 to No. 7 by minutes watched week-over-week.
  • Chicago P.D. makes its own week-over-week jump too, as season 10’s debut pushed the show from No. 19 to No. 14 by watch-time.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent shared duration Sept. 19-25.

NBC moves into the No. 1 spot in our list of most-watched networks, as the NFL and President’s Cup accounted for over a quarter of its watch-time. The network tallied 8.11% of watch-time, up from 7.37% the previous week.

Additional insights around the most-watched networks from Sept. 19-25:

  • ABC benefited from both the NFL and college football, which pushed minutes watched from 6.39% to 7.41% week-over-week.
  • MSNBC progresses from No. 11 to No. 8 week-over-week, in part due to coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral (fourth by watch-time on the network).
  • ESPN2’s college football coverage accounted for nearly 26% of minutes watched on the network, which climbs from No. 31 to No. 22 week-over-week.
  • Discovery Channel is also a week-over-week addition to our ranking, rising from No. 27 to No. 25, due in part to programs like Expedition Unknown and Deadliest Catch.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent shared duration Sept. 19-25.

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. 

The NFL takes the No. 1 spot in our ranking for the third week in a row, as live games delivered nearly 13.7% of TV ad impressions. That’s down from the previous week, when it accounted for 15.7% (though overlapping Monday Night Football contests ultimately cut into TV ad impressions for both, while also removing a Sunday game from the slate).

More insights about the top programs by TV ad impressions:

  • Reality shows account for three spots in our ranking, led by The Voice (No. 6), then Big Brother (No. 14) and The Bachelorette (No. 15).
  • The 2022 President’s Cup golf event delivered 1.63% of TV ad impressions, despite it being a one-sided affair in favor of the winning U.S. team.
  • News- and talk-related programs sit in 13 of the 25 spots in our ranking, led by Good Morning America at No. 5.
  • With the pennant race in full swing, MLB games leap from No. 19 to No. 8 by share of TV ad impressions week-over-week.

Top shows by TV ad impressions Sept. 19-25.

CBS retains its lead in our TV-ad-impressions-by-network ranking, even as its share drops from 15.84% to 13.79% week-over-week. Between pro and college games over the weekend, football accounted for over 23% of CBS TV ad impressions from Sept. 19-25.

Additional insights around the top networks by impressions:

  • Fox News jumps from No. 9 to No. 5 week-over-week, as both TV ad impressions and ad airings more than doubled on the network.
  • Hurricane news has meant more ad impressions for The Weather Channel, which roars into our ranking at No. 15 (after not appearing at all the previous week).
  • President’s Cup action lifts Golf Channel from No. 26 to No. 17 by TV ad impressions week-over-week.
  • Fox’s share of ad impressions rose from 6.98% to 9.83% week-over-week, with nearly 65% of those delivered on Sunday.

Top networks by TV ad impressions Sept. 19-25.

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