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TV By the Numbers: NBA Still Dominant, But College Baseball’s Also a Home Run for ESPN Watch-Time and Impressions

Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers strips the ball from Danilo Gallinari #8 of the Atlanta Hawks during the second half of game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at State Farm Arena on June 11, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Image credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Here’s our quick snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of June 7-13, 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).

While the NBA Playoffs remain in first place for watch-time with 3.34% of minutes watched during the week of June 7-13 (down just slightly from 3.36% the previous week), a newcomer slid into second as college baseball owned 1.06% of watch-time. The Division I NCAA baseball tournament has been airing across various ESPN networks both during the day and at night as the field narrows in advance of the College World Series.

Despite the season finale airing a week ago, Law & Order Special Victims Unit dropped just one spot to No. 3, with 0.89% of minutes watched. Good Morning America (0.87% of watch-time) and Major League Baseball (0.75%) rounded out the top five. The 2021 French Open (ninth overall) was the only other sports-related show in the top 10.

Beyond college baseball and the UEFA European Championship, some of the week’s biggest movers included Chicago P.D. — up from 14th to seventh — and NCIS: New Orleans, up from 12th to sixth. Fox and Friends remained in 25th to close out the rankings just as it did the previous week.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent duration June 7-June13

ABC retained its standing as the No. 1 network by watch-time with 6.56% of minutes watched (an improvement over last week’s 6.34%). Though Good Morning America and the NBA Playoffs were big parts of that, the season premiere of The Bachelorette certainly helped as well.

NBC (5.75% of watch-time), CBS (5.56%) and Fox News (3.86%) followed ABC in the same order as the previous week, with Fox in fifth at 3.72% of minutes watched. (Fox finished sixth the previous week.)

USA Network moved up from No. 13 to No. 17 on the week, and TBS rose from 18th to 15th. Once again, Lifetime closed out the top 25 — this time with 1.07% of minutes watched, which was a slight uptick from last week’s 1.02%.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent duration June 7-13

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. 

Conference semifinal matchups kept the NBA Playoffs on top of these rankings as well. From June 7-13, the NBA Playoffs delivered more than 3.4 billion TV ad impressions — over four times more than the second-place finisher, Good Morning America (819 million). Today (716 million TV ad impressions), The Price is Right (705 million) and The Young and the Restless (651 million) rounded out the top five for the week by impressions delivered.

After not appearing the previous week, college baseball leapt to seventh overall. Looking at top 10 programming by TV ad impressions, five were sports-related. That programming — the NBA Playoffs, Major League Baseball, college baseball, the NHL Playoffs and the 2021 French Open — accounted for nearly 13% of all TV ad impressions for new airings from June 7-13.

TV shows by ad impressions June 7-13

ABC kept itself on top of the ad-impressions-by-network rankings for the week, on the strength of GMA, the NBA and The Bachelorette season premiere. On the week, the network served up nearly 5.8 billion TV ad impressions — 19% more than CBS, which ranked second in the timeframe.

NBC, Fox News and ESPN completed the top five for the week, with ESPN’s impressions jumping by almost 39% due in part to college baseball. MLB Network continued to climb, moving from 13th to 15th. And Hallmark closed out this week’s ranking, moving up one spot from 26th last week.

Top networks by TV ad impressions June 7-13

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