TV By the Numbers: Oct. 12-18

Taysom Hill (7) of the New Orleans Saints during a Monday Night Football game on Oct. 12, 2020
Taysom Hill (7) of the New Orleans Saints during a Monday Night Football game on Oct. 12, 2020 (Image credit: Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)

This is a quick snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Oct. 12-18, 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

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).

Unsurprisingly, the NFL remained in the lead for watch-time last week (5.94% of minutes watched), while MLB (3.14%) rose into second place and college football (2.49%) slipped to third. The Barrett Confirmation Hearings on Fox News took fifth place with 0.77% share duration. A few ranking newcomers this time around: American Pickers, Rizzoli & Isles and Two and a Half Men. And while it didn’t make the top 25, it’s worth noting that ABC’s broadcast of Joe Biden’s town hall, The Vice President and the People -- A Special Edition of 20/20, captured 0.33% of watch-time, landing it at No. 30 for the week.

Most-watched TV shows by percent share duration Oct. 12-18

Thanks in part to NFL and MLB games, Fox took No. 1 on the network ranking with 7.62% of watch-time. Fox News also moved up a spot into second place (7.38% share duration), followed by CBS (7.07%), NBC (6.54%) and ABC (6.16%). While multiple cable networks had no position change compared to the previous week, two new networks came into the top 25: Fox Sports 1 (No. 17 with 1.21% share duration) and Freeform (No. 25, 0.93%).

Most-watched TV networks by percent share duration Oct. 12-18

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. 

Another week, another rankings win for the NFL, with games delivering over 6.62 billion TV ad impressions — although that represented an 18.98% decrease in impressions from the previous week. The MLB moved into second place with 3.9 billion impressions (a 95.47% week-over-week increase) while college football took No. 3 (2.5 billion impressions, a 28.57% decrease). Only four non sports/news programs made the top 25: The Young and the Restless, The Bachelorette (which just returned for its 16th season), Big Brother and General Hospital.

Top shows by TV ad impressions Oct. 12-18

Thanks to an assist from various sports, the big four broadcasters dominated the top of the network ranking: Fox jumped into first place, delivering 5.6 billion TV ad impressions, 56% of which came from NFL games and 23.9% from MLB games. CBS took second place with 5 billion impressions (32% from NFL games), ABC was third (4.7 billion, 12% of which came from college football) and No. 4 went to NBC (4.5 billion impressions, 22% from NFL). And thanks to baseball, Fox Sports 1 jumped into the top 10 with 1.6 billion impressions.

Top networks by TV ad impressions Oct. 12-18