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TV By the Numbers: July 20-26

Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees hits an RBI single to right field against Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals in the game at Nationals Park on July 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.
(Image credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

This is a quick snapshot of linear TV trends for the week of July 20-26, revealing the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Inscape. Also below: a deep dive into MLB’s Opening Day with insights from Inscape, iSpot.tv and CreatorIQ.

Most-Watched Shows and Networks 

Via Inscape.tv, 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, 1.82% of the time was spent on MLB baseball, putting it in first place for percent share duration, followed by Good Morning America (0.77%) and Ridiculousness.

Most-watched TV shows July 20-26, 2020

(Image credit: Inscape)

On the network side of things, of all minutes watched last week, 5.79% of the time was spent on Fox News — a move up from the previous week where it was No. 3. Second and third places go to NBC (5.65%) and ABC (5.53%). Other networks rising in the ranks compared to the previous week include ESPN, TLC, History and A&E.

Most-watched networks July 20-26, 2020

(Image credit: Inscape)

TV Trends for MLB’s Opening Day 

After months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, Major League Baseball finally had its 2020 Opening Day on July 23, with the New York Yankees going up against the Washington Nationals first, followed by the San Francisco Giants vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Inscape.tv tracks live viewership 24/7 with a public dashboard available here. Within minutes of the first ceremonial pitch, thrown by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Yankees/Nationals game had more live tune-in than anything else that was on TV; over an hour later, that was still the case.

MLB live tune-in on Opening Day 2020

(Image credit: Inscape)

Here’s a look at the minute-by-minute tune-in for both Opening Day games. Viewership steadily increased during the Yankees vs. Nationals game until plummeting during a rain delay in the sixth inning (after nearly two hours of waiting, the game was called). As the Giants went up against the Dodgers, viewership started to increase, although not as steadily as the first game.

Minute-by-minute viewership for MLB Opening Day 2020

(Image credit: Inscape)

Here’s a look at local area market tune-in for both Opening Day games:

MLB 2020 Opening Day local area market tune-in

(Image credit: Inscape)

According to iSpot.tv, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company, there were 504.8 million TV ad impressions for the Opening Day games, a 123.61% increase in impressions from Opening Day 2019 (March 28). ESPN was the top network for impressions (497.4 million with games also airing on ESPN Deportes, ESPN 2 and MLB Network). 

The most-seen spot during the games was Hankook Tire’s 'The Catch,' featuring Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, with 33.1 million TV ad impressions. Top brands by impressions included Hankook Tire (33.1 million impressions), Taco Bell (29.5 million), Bud Light (26.7 million), Allstate (17.9 million) and Mother’s Polish (15.4 million).

Social Spotlight on the Pitchers

According to influencer marketing platform CreatorIQ, Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole commands an impressive 23.53% engagement rate on Instagram posts and 15.54% on Twitter — both considered “exemplary” by CreatorIQ for an influencer of his size, and the highest of the four Opening Day pitchers. 

Cole’s audience is 66% male and 64% of his audience is comprised of 18-24-year-olds. Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer has an “exemplary” engagement rate of 11.61% on Twitter and a 4.36% engagement rate on Instagram (which CreatorIQ considers “good”). 

The pitchers for the second MLB game of Opening Day were originally going to be Johnny Cueto (Giants) and Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), but at the last minute it was announced that Kershaw would be out due to back issues. In his place: Dustin May, the first Dodgers rookie in decades to start on Opening Day. 

According to CreatorIQ, Cueto has an average engagement rate on Instagram of 2.02% and 1.02% on Twitter (both “good”). May has an “excellent” engagement rate of 12.47% on Instagram and an “exemplary” rate on Twitter (15.53%), although it’s worth noting his audience is a bit smaller.