TV By the Numbers: Sept. 14-20

Patrick Mahomes (15) of the Kansas City Chiefs during a regular season game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO Sept. 22, 2019.
(Image credit: Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)

This is a quick snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Sept. 14-20, revealing the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Inscape, and the top shows and networks by TV ad impressions with insights via

Most-Watched Shows and Networks 

Via 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).

Looking at shows, of all the minutes watched by smart TVs that Inscape measured in all dayparts, 7.49% of the time was spent on NFL games, an increase from the previous week. Once again, NBC captured the largest percent share duration of NFL games (2.55%), followed by CBS (1.76%). The No. 2 program for watch-time last week was the 2020 U.S. Open Golf Championship (1.90%), followed by NBA (1.57%). Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was the only non-sports program to make the top five.

Most-watched TV shows by percent share duration Sept. 14-20

On the network side of things, thanks in part to the NFL and the U.S. Open Championship, NBC led the ranking with (8.59%), followed by CBS (6.93%). ABC overcame Fox News with a 6.10% share duration vs. 5.80% share duration. NFL Network burst onto the scene as well, coming in at No. 19, while, for many of the middlemen, there was no change week-over-week in rankings.

Most-watched TV networks by percent share duration Sept. 14-20.

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. 

Once again, NFL football games crushed the competition when it came to TV ad impressions, raking in nearly 7.7 billion — over three times as many as NBA games (2.2 billion). Notably, the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards beat out MLB games (429 million vs. 399.5 million impressions), while the season 29 premiere of Dancing With the Stars secured 15th place (396.7 million), slightly ahead of America’s Got Talent (390.4 million).

Top shows by TV ad impressions Sept. 14-20

CBS edged out NBC to top the network ranking this time, while ESPN was close behind. As you’d expect, NFL games were the primary drivers of impressions for each of those top three networks — although on ESPN, NBA games had nearly as many impressions as NFL (1.6 billion vs. 1.62 billion impressions). NFL Network rose to No. 9 with 1.3 billion impressions, surpassing other sports-focused networks including NBC Sports, Golf, ESPN2, Fox Sports 1 and MLB Network.

Top networks by TV ad impressions Sept. 14-20