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TV By the Numbers: NFL, College Football Top Week of Nov. 30

Joe Haden #23 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball for a touchdown after intercepting a pass during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on Dec. 1, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Joe Haden #23 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball for a touchdown after intercepting a pass during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on Dec. 1, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Image credit: Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

This is a quick snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Nov. 30 through Dec. 6, revealing 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 Vizio’s Inscape, the TV data company with insights from a panel of more than 16 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).

Although NFL games yet again captured the most watch-time, it was down to 5.78% vs. 8.41% the previous week. College football was in second place again (2.72% share duration), while college basketball jumped into third place from 10th previously, with 0.97% of all minutes watched. Various news programs rose up the ranking, as did The Voice and assorted shows that often run in marathons: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Chicago P.D., Law & Order and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent share duration Nov. 30-Dec. 6.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent share duration Nov. 30-Dec. 6.

NFL games, Today and The Voice helped NBC take first place with 8.76% of minutes watched, followed by CBS (8.10%) and ABC (6.65%). Fox News and CNN both edged up a bit, but the biggest week-over-week jump up the ranking went to Freeform, which snagged No. 13 with 1.52% share duration, thanks to a bunch of classic Christmas movies that aired over the week. MSNBC, HGTV, Investigation Discovery, Food Network and Univision all held steady in the top 15.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent share duration Nov. 30-Dec. 6.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent share duration Nov. 30-Dec. 6.

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. 

NFL games continue to dominate for TV ad impressions, but there was a week-over-week decrease, down to 7.4 billion from the previous 10.2 billion. College football also had a slightly lower count, 3.44 billion impressions vs. 3.87 billion last time. Meanwhile, college basketball jumped into third place with 864.5 million TV ad impressions and notably The Voice snagged fifth place (719.4 million impressions). Other non-news/sports programming in the top 25 included The Price Is Right, 88th Annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center, The Bachelorette, Let’s Make a Deal and The Masked Singer.

Top shows by TV ad impressions Nov. 30-Dec. 6.

Top shows by TV ad impressions Nov. 30-Dec. 6.

On the network side of things, CBS led the pack with 8.5 billion TV ad impressions, 2.8 billion of which came from NFL football games. NBC’s 7.2 billion impressions put it squarely in second place; NFL games also were a big impressions-driver, accounting for 2.4 billion of NBC’s impressions. Hallmark, on the other hand, experienced an over 50% week-over-week decrease in impressions, suggesting that with the long Thanksgiving holiday over, people didn’t have as much time to binge their ongoing slate of Christmas movies.

Top networks by TV ad impressions Nov. 30-Dec. 6.

Top networks by TV ad impressions Nov. 30-Dec. 6.