Thanksgiving Surge Boosts TV Viewing in November

A view of the Turkey float during the 2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2022 in New York City.
(Image credit: Gotham/GC Images)

Boosted by Thanksgiving, television viewing increased 7.8% in November from the month before, according to Nielsen.

Thanksgiving saw the second most TV viewing of any day so far this year and there were five days during the month in which viewing topped 100 billion minutes. The biggest viewing day of the year was Jan. 16, a day with three NFL Wild Card playoff games.

Time spent streaming continued to rise, while broadcast and cable lost share.

Streaming time posted a 10.2% increase in the month -- the biggest increase on record, according to Nielsen. Streaming’s share of total TV viewing rose to 38.2% from 37.3% in October. Streaming usage is up 41.2% from a year ago.

Netflix, HBO Max and YouTube all had double-digit increases in November.

YouTube had the biggest share of viewing among streamers with 8.8% in November, up from 8.5% in October. Netflix had a 7.6% share, an increase from 7.2%; Hulu’s share was 3.9%, down from 4%; Amazon Prime Video had a 2.6% share, down from 2.8%; Disney Plus’ share was 2%, unchanged; HBO Max was at 1.2% up from 1.1%; and Pluto TV was flat at 0.9%.

Nielsen November

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Broadcast usage was up 6.7% from October, but its share dropped to 25.7% from 26%. The growth in viewing came as broadcast sports viewing rose 10.2% and represented 32% of all broadcast viewing. In the month broadcasters aired NFL games, four World Series Games and the start of the World Cup.

Also: NFL Finds 31% More Thanksgiving Viewers Than Originally Reported

Broadcast viewing was down 0.7% from a year ago. News was up 19%, and sports was down 5.6%.

Cable viewing was up 4.2% in November and its share fell to 31.8% from 32.9% in October. Films were popular on cable, with viewing up 32.7%. Cable news viewing was up 1.4%.

Compared to a year ago time spent watching cable was down 9.3%.

Viewing of linear TV on multichannel video programming distributors and virtual MVPDs represented 6.8% of total television using and 15.2% of streaming usage in November, compared to 4.7% and 15.4% respectively. Hulu Live accounted for 12% of Hulu viewing. ■

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.