TV By the Numbers: Men’s College Basketball Scores Impressions, Watch-Time Lead on TV

Iowa vs Purdue in Big Ten Championship
Iowa and Purdue met in the Big Ten men's basketball tournament championship March 13. (Image credit: Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Mar. 7-13, showcasing the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Vizio’s Inscape, and network and show TV ad impressions insights via

Most-Watched Shows and Networks

Via Inscape, Vizio’s TV data product with glass-level insights from a panel of more than 19 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).

Conference championship games powered men’s college basketball to a watch-time win in the final week before the NCAA Tournament. From March 7-13, games scored 3.77% of total TV minutes watched — No. 1 for the week, and significantly higher than the sport’s 2.12% watch-time from the previous week.

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

• Combined, the 2022 Players Championship and Live From The Players coverage accounts for 1.51% of minutes watched on the week (more than every program but men’s college basketball).

• With basketball highlights galore, SportsCenter watch-time also leaps — from No. 15 to No. 8 week-over-week.

ª Diners, Drive-ins and Dives pulls in at No. 19 by minutes watched, up from No. 29 the previous week.

• Castle climbs week over week, from No. 41 to No. 25.

Inscape TV by the Numbers

CBS rides men’s college basketball games and the NCAA Tournament Selection Show (among other programs) to No. 1, with 6.87% of minutes watched from Mar. 7-13. That’s up two places from the previous week, when CBS collected 6.31% of watch-time.

More insights around the most-watched networks from Mar. 7-13:

• Lifetime is new to our ranking this week, progressing from No. 26 to No. 24 by minutes watched week-over-week.

• While cable news viewership remains high, all three of the big networks see modest week-over-week ranking declines (Fox News from No. 1 to No. 4, CNN from No. 6 to No. 7, and MSNBC from No. 9 to No. 12).

• TV Land climbs from No. 23 to No. 20 on the back of syndicated sitcoms like Everybody Loves Raymond, Two and a Half Men and The King of Queens.

Inscape TV by the Numbers

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. 

Even before brackets are filled out, men’s college basketball has been delivering billions of TV ad impressions. From March 7-13, games accounted for over 3.4 billion impressions — 6.6% of the total, and No. 1 overall among all programming.

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

• With new episodes on both Monday and Tuesday night, The Bachelor gave ABC and its advertisers a rose with over 605 million impressions.

• News programs remain a fixture for impressions, making up more than half of the top 25 shows by impressions (led by Good Morning America at No. 3).

• American Idol’s latest season remains a fixture in our rankings, sitting at No. 18 this week.

• SportsCenter TV ad impressions jump week-over-week, peaking on Selection Sunday, which as a single day accounted for nearly 28% of the program’s impressions for the time frame.

ispot TV by the Numbers

CBS is No. 1 in our ad-impressions-by-network ranking from Mar. 7-13, with 14.8% of TV ad impressions due in part to men’s college basketball action and, of course, the NCAA Tournament selection show.

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

• With the ongoing war in Ukraine, cable news continues to deliver, as Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC combine for more than 22.5% of the week’s TV ad impressions.

• Sports-focused networks retain their own popularity as ESPN, Fox Sports 1, ESPN2, Big Ten Network and Golf Channel all appear in this week’s rankings (along with numerous other networks that also air live sports as part of their programming).

• Speaking of: TNT is No. 12 by impressions, predominantly on the back of live NBA and NHL games, which accounted for over 85% of impressions for the network on the week.

• TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days delivered over 49% of the network’s impressions for Mar. 7-13, with about 3x the number of impressions of TLC’s No. 2 show, Dr. Pimple Popper.

iSpot TV by the Numners

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