NFL Wins Week Again for Watch-Time, Ad Impressions: TV By the Numbers

Mike White #5 throws a pass to Zonovan Knight #27 of the New York Jets in the third quarter of a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.
(Image credit: Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of December 5-11, highlighting the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Inscape (opens in new tab), and network and show TV ad impressions insights via iSpot.tv (opens in new tab).

Most-Watched Shows and Networks

Via Inscape, the currency-grade smart TV ACR data provider and data technology division of Vizio with insights from a panel of more than 20 million opted-in 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).

The NFL maintained its No. 1 spot by watch-time from December 5-11, at 5.41% (down slightly from 5.53% the previous week). However, that doesn’t include another 0.43% of minutes watched on NFL RedZone, which is No. 18 in our ranking.

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • Basketball watch-time is on the rise, as men’s college hoops moves from No. 5 to No. 4 in our ranking, while the NBA jumps from No. 11 to No. 5.
  • NBC’s “One Chicago” franchise grows minutes watched week-over-week, as Chicago Fire climbs from No. 21 to No. 12, and Chicago P.D. increases from No. 28 to No. 22.
  • World Cup watch-time is dipping as the field narrows, with English-language share of minutes watched declining week-over-week from 2.55% to 1.40%, while Spanish-language minutes watched drop from 0.81% to 0.43%.
  • Beyond Chicago P.D., ABC World News Tonight with David Muir is the lone week-over-week newcomer in our ranking, returning at No. 25 (up from No. 27).

Most-watched shows on TV by percent shared duration December 5-11.

CBS stays at No. 1 as the most-watched network, accounting for 7.40% of watch-time from December 5-11 (down from 8.66% the previous week). Along with Sunday NFL action, CBS also aired the annual Army-Navy college football game on Saturday.

Additional insights around the most-watched networks from December 5-11:

  • With so much attention on the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff election, cable news watch-time shows growth week-over-week -- Fox News moves from 4.64% to 4.86%, MSNBC increases from 1.55% to 1.77%, and CNN is up from 1.31% to 1.54%.
  • AMC leaned into classic holiday movies like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf and more to fuel a week-over-week leap from No. 34 to No. 22 in our ranking.
  • Similarly, Freeform leaned into (parent company) Disney-owned Christmas flicks to jump from No. 21 to No. 18 week-over-week.
  • Beyond AMC, Nickelodeon is also a week-over-week newcomer, joining our ranking at No. 25 by watch-time (up from No. 27 the previous week).

Most-watched networks on TV by percent shared duration December 5-11.

Top Shows and Networks by TV Ad Impressions

Via iSpot.tv, the real-time TV measurement company. Rankings are by share of TV ad impressions, for new episodes only.

NFL action delivered 12.14% of TV ad impressions from December 5-11, staying at No. 1 yet again in our ranking among all programs. That was down slightly from 12.25% the previous week, though it’s still more than seven times the program with the next-highest share.

More insights about the top programs by share of TV ad impressions:

  • The list of top five programs is four-fifths sports: the NFL, Spanish-language World Cup games, men’s college basketball and the NBA.
  • With two nights of semifinal competition, The Voice sings its way to No. 7 by TV ad impressions (up from No. 13 the week before).
  • A busy week in U.S. political news (the Georgia runoff, Kyrsten Sinema leaving the Democratic Party) helped fuel CNN Newsroom’s week-over-week growth from No. 32 to No. 20 by share of TV ad impressions.
  • Just two daytime soap operas appear in this week’s rankings: The Young and the Restless (No. 13) and General Hospital (No. 25).

Top shows by TV ad impressions December 5-11.

CBS keeps its spot atop our network ranking, with 15.87% of TV ad impressions from December 5-11 -- down from 16.39% the previous week. The NFL accounts for nearly 17% of impressions on the network, which is more than double the total for CBS’s No. 2 program, The Price Is Right.

Additional insights around the top networks by share of TV ad impressions:

  • Baseball’s winter meetings and the continuing free agency conversation push MLB Network into our ranking at No. 24, even in the offseason.
  • ESPN2 impressions grew 25% week-over-week, partially on the strength of men’s college basketball (nearly a quarter of the network’s impressions).
  • NBC’s share of TV ad impressions increase from 12.04% to 13.29%, as the network leaned on its usual primetime slate, along with the People’s Choice Awards.
  • Discovery Channel TV ad impressions leap 17% week-over-week, with Gold Rush accounting for over 26% of impressions.

Top networks by TV ad impressions December 5-11.

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