TV By the Numbers: NBC, NFL Win Weekly Watch-Time War; CBS, College Football Corral TV Ad Impressions Win

Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers is sacked by Myles Garrett #95 and Malik McDowell #58 of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at SoFi Stadium on Oct. 10, 2021 in Inglewood, California.
Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers is sacked by Myles Garrett #95 and Malik McDowell #58 of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at SoFi Stadium on Oct. 10, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Image credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Oct. 4-10, shining a spotlight on the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Vizio’s Inscape, and 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).

Even without Tom Brady returning to New England in primetime, the NFL still cleans up with TV’s top watch-time. The league’s games score 6.48% of minutes watched for the week of Oct. 4-10. 

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • The college football minutes-watched tally climbs again, increasing from 3.76% to 3.82% week-over-week thanks to a big weekend of competitive matchups.
  • Major League Baseball’s playoffs mean fewer games, but a bigger audience given the stakes as MLB’s watch-time ranking jumps from No. 6 to No. 3 overall.
  • Chrisley Knows Best rides an E! marathon to 0.37% of minutes watched from Oct. 4-10 (No. 20 overall, after not appearing among the top 50 the previous week).
  • Episode six of The Voice drives an increase from No. 19 to No. 14 by minutes watched, with 0.43%.
  • Chicago P.D. remains one of the 10 most-watched programs on TV, increasing minutes watched week-over-week from 0.61% to 0.65%.

Also Read: Fall 2021 TV Premiere Dates

Most-watched shows on TV by percent share duration Oct. 4-10

NBC stays on top for the week once again, with 7.68% of minutes watched due in part to Sunday Night Football and The Voice.

More insights around the most-watched networks from Oct. 4-10:

  • Broadcast networks stay atop the list by minutes watched, with Fox (7.65%), CBS (7.64%) and ABC (6.78%) all finishing just behind NBC for the week.
  • TBS leaps from No. 20 to No. 7 by week-over-week watch-time due to MLB playoff games, while Fox Sports 1 rides playoff baseball from No. 50 to No. 24.
  • Univision gets a boost by way of FIFA World Cup qualifying (from No. 16 to No. 13 by minutes watched).
  • TNT’s DC Universe movie marathon contributes to an increase from No. 26 to No. 20 by watch-time, with 0.99% from Oct. 4-10.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent share duration Oct. 4-10

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.

It’s no surprise that the NFL continues to serve up the most TV ad impressions on TV, with nearly 7.0 billion from Oct. 4-10. College football also increases impressions yet again, with almost 4.7 billion during the time period (up from about 4.4 billion the week before).

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

  • MLB playoffs are one of TV’s top programs right now, with the first week of baseball’s postseason increasing impressions by nearly 6X over the final week of the regular season.
  • Bachelor in Paradise’s three-hour finale served up over 396 million TV ad impressions for ABC, putting up similar numbers to NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.
  • Week five of The Voice increased impressions once more for the singing competition show, which saw a jump of about 8% week-over-week.
  • Morning shows Good Morning America, Today and CBS Mornings are all among the top 11 programs by impressions for the week (as is the third hour of Today).

TV shows by TV ad impressions Oct. 4-10

CBS scores the top spot in this week’s ad-impressions-by-network ranking yet again with a big boost from an SEC college football double-header on Saturday. No. 2 Georgia at Auburn leading into No. 1 Alabama at Texas A&M in the primetime slot delivered  over 1.3 billion TV ad impressions for the network.

Additional insights around the top networks by impressions from Oct. 4-10:

  • ABC finishes second for the week by TV ad impressions, with almost 20% of those coming via Saturday’s college football action.
  • Major League Baseball playoff games gave a big boost to TBS, as TV ad impressions for live, new programming increased from 41 million to 1.85 billion week-over-week.
  • Fox Sports 1 impressions nearly doubled due to baseball as well, as fans tuned into American League divisional round action.
  • As battles around the infrastructure bill and debt ceiling waged on in the Senate, MSNBC impressions rose by 7.3% week-over-week.

TV networks by TV ad impressions Oct. 4-10

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