TV By the Numbers: Live Sports Are a Home Run for Fox

Adam Duvall #14 of the Atlanta Braves hits a grand slam home run against Framber Valdez (not pictured) of the Houston Astros during the first inning in Game Five of the World Series at Truist Park on Oct. 31, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Adam Duvall #14 of the Atlanta Braves hits a grand slam home run against Framber Valdez (not pictured) of the Houston Astros during the first inning in Game Five of the World Series at Truist Park on Oct. 31, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Image credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Oct. 25-31, showcasing the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Vizio’s Inscape, and the top shows and networks by TV ad impressions with insights via

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).

Once again, the National Football League is behind the most-watched programming on TV, with NFL games climbing to 6.01% of minutes watched during the week of Oct. 25-31 (up from 5.59% the previous week). Despite the NFL claiming the No. 1 spot in our ranking yet again, the World Series is the top story, with 3.85% of watch-time on just five games. 

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • College football is No. 3 behind the NFL and World Series, with 3.76% of minutes watched.
  • Procedurals make up six of the top 20 programs by watch-time, with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (No. 4), Chicago P.D. (No. 9), NCIS (No. 11), Gunsmoke (No. 12), Blue Bloods (No. 17), and Chicago Fire (No. 19) all appearing.
  • Syndicated The Big Bang Theory episodes are No. 18. The show didn’t appear among the 50 most-watched the previous week.
  • Love It or List It leaps from No. 41 to No. 25 week-over-week, with 0.35% of minutes watched.

Also: Fall 2021 TV Premiere Dates

Most-watched shows on TV by percent share duration Oct. 25-31

Fox is new atop the network rankings by minutes watched, tallying 11.94% of watch-time — up nearly double from 5.65% the previous week. The network enjoys not only its usual slate of NFL and college football matchups, but also five World Series games from Oct. 25-31.

More insights around the most-watched networks during the week:

  • NBC remains No. 2 by watch-time thanks in part to a Saturday Notre Dame football game and Sunday night’s Dallas Cowboys game.
  • As Hallmark Channel leans into holiday shows and movies, it climbs to No. 7 by minutes watched, with 2.70% of watch-time. Sister network Hallmark Movies & Mysteries sees a similar leap, rising from No. 28 to No. 19 with the same programming strategy.
  • USA Network leaps from No. 20 to No. 16 by minutes watched, on the back of WWE Monday Night Raw.
  • Fox, NBC, CBS and ABC still make up a large portion of watch-time on TV, combining for nearly 32% during the week.

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

Most-watched networks on TV by percent share duration Oct. 25-31

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. 

Live sports are usually a boost for TV ad impressions, and that remains the case right now with the NFL and college football in full swing, and the World Series continuing between the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros. While the NFL leads the way with nearly 7.6 billion impressions, Major League Baseball has over 4.7 billion (No. 2 on the week) courtesy of the World Series.

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

  • Continuing the live sports theme, college football (No. 3) and the National Basketball Association (No. 9) also appear among this week’s top 10 shows by TV ad impressions.
  • News and talk programs make up over half (13) of the top 25, led by Good Morning America at No. 4 overall with 938 million impressions.
  • The Voice remains the lone reality competition show among the top 25 programs this week, delivering over 599 million TV ad impressions.

TV shows by TV ad impressions Oct. 25-31

Fox rockets to the top of this week’s ad-impressions-by-network ranking via a Sunday NFL doubleheader, Saturday college football action and the World Series. As a result, the network leads No. 2 CBS by nearly 3 billion TV ad impressions on the week.

Additional insights around the top networks by impressions from Oct. 25-31:

  • CBS wins via football as well, with a single Sunday NFL game window, and Saturday’s Florida vs. Georgia game, en route to 8.1 billion impressions.
  • On the week, nearly 17% of NBC’s TV ad impressions come from Sunday Night Football, plus another 2.8% from Football Night in America.
  • Weather Channel is No. 25 by impressions, as the network covers the final weeks of hurricane season on the Atlantic seaboard.
  • Spanish-language coverage of the World Series accounts for almost 70% of Fox Deportes TV ad impressions for the week, as the network rises to No. 22 overall.

Top networks by TV ad impressions Oct. 25-31

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