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PGA Championship Putts Toward Impressions, Watch-Time Leads: TV By the Numbers

Justin Thomas of the United States plays a shot on seventh hole during the final round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 22, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
(Image credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of May 16-22, showcasing the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Vizio’s Inscape, and network and show TV ad impressions insights via iSpot.tv.

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).

As the NBA Playoffs progress to the conference finals, they retain a lead by watch-time with 2.69% of minutes watched from May 16-22. Close on the NBA’s heels, however, is the 2022 PGA Championship, with 2.54% of watch-time.

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • SportsCenter jumps to No. 4 by minutes watched, up from No. 10 the previous week, while increasing share of watch-time from 0.62% to 0.96%.
  • The regional round of the Women’s College World Series helps college softball climb from No. 42 by minutes watched to No. 13 week-over-week.
  • Coinciding with the theatrical release of Downton Abbey: A New Era, audiences watched plenty of Downton Abbey on TV, as the show accounted for 0.52% of the week’s watch-time.
  • The First 48 gained a larger share of minutes watched week-over-week, from 0.42% to 0.48%, fueling a move from No. 20 to No. 16 by watch-time.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent shared duration May 16-22.

CBS supplants ABC as the most-watched network, thanks in part to the 2022 PGA Championship. The network hits 7.56% of watch-time on the week, which is up from 6.49% the previous week.

Additional insights around the most-watched networks from May 16-22:

  • PGA Championship coverage has also been a boon to ESPN, which progresses from No. 7 to No. 6 by watch-time week-over-week.
  • Paw Patrol powers part of Nickelodeon’s own week-over-week rise by minutes watched, from No. 19 to No. 16.
  • TLC makes a modest climb from No. 20 to No. 19 week-over-week, thanks in part to both 90 Day Fiancé and 90 Day: The Single Life.
  • USA Network makes a week-over-week watch-time move from No. 18 to No. 15, with assists from WWE Monday Night Raw and coverage of the final weekend of English Premier League action.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent shared duration May 16-22.

Top Shows and Networks by TV Ad Impressions

Via iSpot.tv, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company. Rankings are by TV ad impressions, for new episodes only. 

Despite fewer playoff games week-over-week, the NBA maintains its TV ad impressions lead, with 3.06 billion from May 16-22 — 5.98% of the week’s impressions overall. That’s almost double the share of impressions for the second-place programming, the PGA Championship, with 3.22% on the week.

More data about the top programs by TV ad impressions:

  • More than half of this week’s top 25 programs by impressions are news and talk-related, led by Good Morning America at No. 4 (with 1.90% of impressions).
  • Speaking of, GMA increased week-over-week impressions by 10.7%, despite slipping from No. 3 to No. 4 in our ranking.
  • Impressions for The View climbed by more than 5% week-over-week, fueling a move from No. 16 to No. 14 in our ranking.
  • Sports accounts for four of the top 10 spots by impressions, with that programming programs — the NBA, PGA Championship, SportsCenter and the NHL — accounting for 12.9% of the week’s ad impressions.

Top shows by TV ad impressions May 16-22.

CBS stays at No. 1 in our ad-impressions-by-network ranking, collecting 15.95% of impressions on the week, which is up from 13.37% the previous week.

Additional insights around the top networks by impressions:

  • ESPN got a boost from the PGA Championship (and other programs), making a short climb from No. 6 to No. 5 by impressions week-over-week.
  • Of the cable news networks, both Fox News and MSNBC increased impressions week-over-week, with the former jumping by 6.4% and the latter by 0.7%.
  • College softball accounts for about a third of ESPN2’s impressions on the week, as the network hops from No. 18 to No. 15 in our ranking.
  • The Weather Channel is a week-over-week newcomer in our ranking, growing impressions from 0.44% (No. 29) to 0.49% (No. 25).

Top networks by TV ad impressions May 16-22.

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