TV By the Numbers: Aug. 17-23

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket past Shake Milton #18 of the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half in Game Three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at The Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 21, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida
(Image credit: Kim Klement - Pool/Getty Images)

This is a quick snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Aug. 17-23, revealing the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Inscape, and the top shows and networks by TV ad impressions with insights via

Most-Watched Shows and Networks 

Via, the TV data company with insights from a panel of more than 15 million 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).

Looking at shows, of all the minutes watched by smart TVs that Inscape measured in all dayparts, 2.22% of the time was spent on NBA basketball games on TNT and 1.56% of the time was spent on NBA basketball games on ESPN. In third place and fourth places, respectively: America’s Choice 2020: Democratic National Convention on CNN (1.43%) and Decision 2020: Democratic National Convention on MSNBC.

Most-watched TV shows by percent share duration Aug. 17-23

On the network side of things, of all minutes watched last week, 6.51% of the time was spent on Fox News, 5.55% was spent on ABC and 5.42% on CBS. MSNBC, TNT and ESPN all inched up the ranking compared to the previous week

Most-watched TV networks by percent share duration Aug. 17-23

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. 

NBA basketball blew all other programming out of the water, racking up over 7 billion TV ad impressions. NHL hockey took second place with 1.1 billion impressions, followed by Good Morning America (919.8 million). News coverage of the 2020 Democratic National Convention also ranked high, and non-news or sports programming on the top 25 list included America’s Got Talent, The Young and the Restless, General Hospital and Days of our Lives.

Top shows by TV ad impressions Aug. 17-23

Fox News continues its hold on first place for networks, generating nearly 5.7 billion TV ad impressions, which is roughly what it’s had for the last few weeks. ESPN took second place with 4 billion impressions, followed by ABC (nearly 4 billion), NBC (3.7 billion) and CNN (3.7 billion). Other sports-centric networks also made the top 25, including NBC Sports (1.3 billion), Golf (672.8 million) and MLB Network (326.3 million). 

Top networks by TV ad impressions Aug. 17-23