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Start of NBA Postseason Scores Impressions, Watch-Time Wins: TV By the Numbers

Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against Jose Alvarado #15 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of Game One of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on April 17, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.
(Image credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of April 11-17, 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).

Between play-in games and playoff series games on Saturday and Sunday, the NBA leaps to the top spot in this week’s watch-time ranking. From April 11-17, NBA games accounted for 3.12% of all TV minutes watched — up from 0.93% during the final week of the regular season.

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • During its first full week of action this season, Major League Baseball is No. 6 by watch-time (up from No. 7 the previous week).
  • USFL football premieres on Fox to 0.44% of minutes watched on the week (No. 21 overall).
  • Crime fuels some of the week’s biggest watch-time gains, including The First 48 (from No. 35 to No. 19 week-over-week) and Forensic Files (from No. 32 to No. 22 week-over-week).
  • American Idol also makes week-over-week moves, from No. 22 to No. 14 by minutes watched as the competitor field on the show narrows to the top 20 singers.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent shared duration April 11-17

ABC ends CBS’s five-week reign as the most-watched network in our rankings. Thanks in part to the NBA Playoffs, ABC leaps over CBS, collecting 6.98% of minutes watched (vs. 6.87% for CBS).

More insights around the most-watched networks from April 11-17:

  • ABC isn’t the only network benefiting from the NBA Playoffs, as TNT climbs from No. 21 to No. 11 week-over-week due in part to postseason action.
  • USA Network makes modest gains, going from No. 17 to No. 15 week-over-week by watch-time, with help from procedurals, wrestling and the USFL.
  • Discovery Channel and A&E Network are the two week-over-week newcomers to our ranking, coming in at No. 24 and No. 25, respectively.
  • History Channel moves from No. 23 to No. 21 by minutes watched week-over-week as viewers tuned into airings of The Bible miniseries leading into Easter Sunday.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent shared duration April 11-17

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. 

Starting with play-in games on Tuesday, the NBA Playoffs are in full swing and delivering the most TV ad impressions of any programming as a result. From April 11-17, NBA games accounted for nearly 3.3 billion impressions -- or 6.65% of the total for the week.

More data about the top programs by TV ad impressions:

  • American Idol flies up to No. 2 by impressions, tacking on another 100 million compared to the previous week.
  • A full week of games propelled an impressions increase of more than 62% for MLB week-over-week.
  • CBS’s broadcast of the 2022 CMT Music Awards scored 1.05% of the week’s TV ad impressions.
  • Even after postponing one of its season-opening games due to weather, the USFL still wound up delivering more than 430 million TV ad impressions on the week (0.87% of the total).

Top shows by TV ad impressions April 11-17

CBS stays on top of our ad-impressions-by-network ranking from April 11-17, with nearly 15% of TV ad impressions during the period. On the week, three different CBS programs accounted for at least 500 million impressions, including The Price Is Right, The Young and the Restless and the CMT Music Awards.

Additional insights around the top networks by impressions from the week:

  • NBC climbs one spot to No. 3 by TV ad impressions, courtesy of its usual stable of news-related programming, plus the USFL’s debut.
  • MLB Network impressions more than double week-over-week, from 563 million to 1.44 billion.
  • The NBA Playoffs power week-over-week impressions increases across all of the league’s network partners: ABC is up 4%, ESPN is up 24% and TNT is up 132%.
  • Food Network hops from No. 26 by impressions to No. 19 this week, as audiences tuned into Sunday’s Tournament of Champions finale (accounting for 22% of the network’s impressions on the week).

Top networks by TV ad impressions April 11-17

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