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TV By the Numbers: Fox’s Football Focus Delivers Watch-Time Win

Kenny Golladay #19 of the New York Giants catches the ball and is tackled by Anthony Brown #30 of the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 19, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Fox's Sunday NFL doubelheader, which included the matchup (pictured) between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, helped the network nab a watch-time win for the week of Dec. 13-19. (Image credit: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Dec. 13-19, 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 17 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).

Despite COVID-related changes to the game schedule, the National Football League continues to lead the way by watch-time compared to other TV programming. From Dec. 13-19, NFL games accounted for 7.05% of total minutes watched, which is an increase from 5.86% the previous week.

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • The start of college football’s bowl games propel the sport to No. 2 on this week’s list, with 1.59% of minutes watched.
  • The Voice finals fuel a watch-time jump from No. 23 to No. 11 week-over-week for the show.
  • Syndicated airings of comedy-drama Las Vegas on E! drive the show all the way up to No. 16 by watch-time (after not appearing among the top 50 programs the previous week).
  • Powered in part by the return of Tiger Woods, the PNC Championship drives PGA Tour Champions to No. 14 by minutes watched on the week.

Also: Holiday 2021 TV Premiere Dates

Most-watched shows on TV by percent share duration December 13-19

Fox ascends to No. 1 as the most-watched network of the week, with 7.28% of watch-time (up from 5.70% the previous week). Sunday’s NFL doubleheader fuels a lot of that, especially with a rivalry game like the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants leading the 1 p.m. ET kickoff slot.

More insights around the most-watched networks from Dec. 13-19:

  • Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies continue to power increased watch-time, with the network moving up to No. 6 by minutes watched on the week.
  • TBS leans heavily into Friends re-airs as always, though Marvel movies (coinciding with the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home in theaters) also fuel a climb from No. 18 to No. 14 by watch-time.
  • NFL Network shoots up from No. 48 to No. 22 thanks to Saturday’s Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots game.
  • Paramount Network increases week-over-week watch-time (from 1.16% to 1.30%) via Yellowstone and the premiere of prequel series 1883.

Also: Fox Is Selling 2023 Super Bowl Spots as Sports Ad Market Heats Up

Most-watched networks on TV by percent share duration December 13-19

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. 

NFL games reign supreme once again, delivering more than 8.2 billion TV ad impressions during the week of Dec. 13-19 to lead all programs.

More data about the top programs by TV ad impressions during the week:

  • College football’s bowl season began, and with it came a return to higher ad impressions for the sport – with 1.4 billion between eight bowl matchups and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoff games from Dec. 13-19.
  • The Voice finals served up over 672 million TV ad impressions for NBC, which is No. 7 among all programs for the week.
  • Survivor’s two-part closer to season 41 resulted in nearly 479 million impressions for CBS (No. 15 overall).
  • The PGA Tour Champions’ PNC Championship is No. 24 by impressions on the week courtesy of a tight battle between golf legends John Daly and Tiger Woods, and their sons.

Top shows by TV ad impressions December 13-19

CBS stays atop our ad-impressions-by-network ranking for Dec. 13-19, with nearly 15% delivered by Sunday’s NFL action, and another 10.2% coming from The Young and the Restless.

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

  • NFL Network’s Saturday airing of the Colts-Patriots game accounted for 60.3% of its TV ad impressions for the week.
  • Yellowstone and 1883 delivered nearly 60% of Paramount Network ad impressions for the week, creating a formidable Sunday-night block for the cable channel – though a temporary one, with 1883 becoming a Paramount Plus exclusive.
  • Hallmark’s ‘Tis the Season To Be Merry is the top new holiday programming for the network, with the premiere airing serving 30% of Hallmark’s weekly impressions.
  • News is on the rise given concerns around the new COVID variant and the budget bill, as Fox News (No. 5), MSNBC (No. 8) and CNN (No. 9) are all top 10 networks by impressions, with all three delivering at least 1.87 billion on the week.

Top TV networks by ad impressions December 13-19

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