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TV By the Numbers: NBA, U.S. Open Soar in Watch-Time, TV Ad Impressions

James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets tries to get past Pat Connaughton #24 of the Milwaukee Bucks during game seven of the Eastern Conference second round at Barclays Center on June 19, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets tries to get past Pat Connaughton #24 of the Milwaukee Bucks during game seven of the Eastern Conference second round at Barclays Center on June 19, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Image credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

Below is our snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of June 14-20, shining a spotlight on 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 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).

Conference semifinal action kept the NBA Playoffs in first place for watch-time during the week of June 14-20, with 3.54% of minutes watched (up from 3.34% the previous week due to some pivotal game sevens). Golf was right on the NBA’s heels for the week, with the U.S. Open Championship collecting 3.15% of watch-time.

Various other sporting events were all over the top of the rankings. The 2020 UEFA European Championship was No. 3 — up from No. 20 — with 1.18% of watch time, while U.S. Olympic Trials was in fourth with 1.10%. Major League Baseball games collected 0.78% of minutes watched, which was good for eighth overall in the rankings.

The U.S. Open and Olympic Trials were completely new to this week’s rankings after not appearing on TV from June 7-13. Meanwhile, Euro 2020 matches had the largest jump (17 spots) of returning programming. Two and a Half Men (syndicated reruns) also managed to leap 10 spots, from 24th up to 14th on the week. Inside the NBA closed out the top 25 for the week, with 0.42% of watch-time.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent duration June 14-20

Thanks in large part to a well-watched U.S. Open, NBC became the new No. 1 network by watch-time with 7.08% of minutes watched (up from 6.56% last week). ABC moved down just one spot to second in the rankings, with 5.95% of watch-time. The network airs some of the NBA Playoff games, plus other popular programs like Good Morning America, select Euro 2020 matches, and The Bachelorette.

CBS (5.12% of watch-time), Fox News (3.91%) and TNT (3.73%) followed ABC in this week’s rankings. TNT leapt two spots from seventh the previous week, with at least some credit due to the NBA Playoffs. 

Though there was minimal movement throughout the top 25 on the week, Golf Channel (again, a hat tip to the U.S. Open) did move into the 25th spot after not appearing in the top 50 the previous week. The network earned 1.06% of minutes watched in the timeframe.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent duration June 14-20

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. 

Hotly contested series in both the Eastern and Western Conferences kept the NBA Playoffs at the top of these rankings as well. From June 14-20, NBA Playoff games delivered over 3.5 billion TV ad impressions. The U.S. Open managed about two-thirds the number of impressions (2.3 billion) on two-thirds the airings (1,056 vs. 1,527 for the NBA) to come in second. Good Morning America was third by TV ad impressions (903 million), followed by the U.S. Olympic Trials (832 million) and Today (749 million).

The U.S. Open and the U.S. Olympic Trials were both new to the rankings after not appearing on TV the previous week. General Hospital made moves from 21st to 17th week-over-week, while Euro 2020 matches more than doubled TV ad impressions from June 7-13 to June 14-20.

Top shows by TV ad impressions June 14-20

It was close, but NBC did squeeze past ABC to take the top spot in these ad-impressions-by-network rankings for the week. With an assist from the U.S. Open, NBC served up 5.6 billion TV ad impressions for the week, vs. 5.5 billion for ABC. CBS, Fox News and TNT ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the timeframe.

The U.S. Olympic Trials helped NBC Sports climb from 15th to 12th on the week, while the Golf Channel moved from 20th up to 14th. CNBC closed out the rankings in 25th place for the week — a two-spot shift after finishing 23rd from June 7-13.

Top networks by TV ad impressions June 14-20