World Cup Group Stage Hits the Mark for Networks, Advertisers: TV By the Numbers

Thibaut Courtois of Belgium dives in vain as Abdelhamid Sabiri (far right) of Morocco scores their team's first goal from a free kick during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group F match between Belgium and Morocco at Al Thumama Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
(Image credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of November 21-27, highlighting the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Inscape (opens in new tab), and network and show TV ad impressions insights via iSpot.tv (opens in new tab).

Most-Watched Shows and Networks

Via Inscape, the currency-grade smart TV ACR data provider and data technology division of Vizio with insights from a panel of more than 20 million opted-in 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).

Thanksgiving Week programming focused on football of all kinds, as audiences tuned into the NFL, college football and World Cup coverage from November 21-27. But it was the NFL that won the week with 9.24% of watch-time (up from 5.68% from November 14-20), as the league was buoyed by three close games on Thanksgiving.

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • English-language World Cup games debut at No. 3 in our ranking, with 2.66% of minutes watched as Fox and Fox Sports 1 aired four games per day.
  • Spanish-language World Cup coverage (Copa Mundial de la FIFA) also scored with audiences, collecting 1.10% of watch-time on the week.
  • NBC’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade coverage accounted for 1.12% of watch-time on the week (No. 5 overall), while CBS’s parade broadcast lands at No. 25.
  • The Andy Griffith Show pops up to No. 17 in our ranking (from No. 46 the previous week) due to increased airings on TV Land and Sundance.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent shared duration November 21-27.

Fox assumes the lead as the most-watched network, accounting for 9.99% of watch-time from November 21-27 -- up from 5.22% the week before. The network benefited from big sporting events over the entire holiday weekend, from the World Cup to NFL action and the final weekend of the college football regular season.

Additional insights around the most-watched networks from November 21-27:

  • Paramount Network leaps from No. 18 to No. 8 week-over-week due in large part to a Yellowstone marathon over the holiday.
  • Fox Sports 1 rides World Cup action from No. 40 to No. 9 week-over-week in our watch-time ranking, while Telemundo jumps from No. 41 to No. 10 thanks in large part to Spanish-language coverage of the event.
  • TNT makes modest week-over-week gains by share of minutes watched (from 1.03% to 1.17%) thanks primarily to NBA action.
  • Hallmark Channel stays at No. 7 week-over-week in our ranking, but holiday specials helped power a watch-time increase from 2.91% to 3.07%.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent shared duration November 21-27.

Top Shows and Networks by TV Ad Impressions

Via iSpot.tv, the real-time TV measurement company. Rankings are by share of TV ad impressions, for new episodes only. 

Thanksgiving games helped the NFL claim 19.39% of the week’s TV ad impressions, rising from 12.21% from November 14-20. On Thanksgiving Day itself, the league served over 47% of TV ad impressions -- 5.6 times the amount of the closest program.

More insights about the top programs by share of TV ad impressions:

  • College football closed its regular season by accounting for 11.49% of TV ad impressions – as rivalry games across Thursday, Friday and Saturday helped power a week-over-week increase from 8.20%.
  • Spanish-language World Cup action delivered 3.42% of TV ad impressions on the week (No. 3 overall), while English-language matches were 2.23% (No. 4).
  • World Cup studio shows across Telemundo, Fox and Fox Sports 1 also delivered a combined 2.3% of TV ad impressions.
  • Other Thanksgiving programming also delivered significant shares of TV ad impressions. NBC’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade coverage had 1.73% of impressions (No. 9), while its National Dog Show broadcast had 0.86% (No. 13).

Top shows by TV ad impressions November 21-27.

Fox leaps into first place in our network ranking, increasing its share of TV ad impressions from 5.92% to 15.84% week-over-week. Along with select World Cup games, the network also aired the Thanksgiving game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, NFL Sunday action, and Saturday’s big college football showdown between the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes.

Additional insights around the top networks by share of TV ad impressions:

  • NBC and CBS also increased TV ad impressions share week-over-week, largely on the strength of the NFL (each network aired one of the other Thanksgiving Day games) and holiday-specific programming like the Macy’s parade.
  • Telemundo more than doubled its ad impressions share of voice from 2.72% to 6.25% week-over-week as the network leaned into Spanish-language World Cup coverage.
  • Hallmark Channel TV ad impressions climbed by 109% week-over-week as audiences tuned in for holiday-centric specials to set the mood for the season.
  • BET more than doubled its share of TV ad impressions week-over-week, from 0.21% to 0.44% as the 2022 Soul Train Awards telecast accounted for nearly one-fifth of impressions on the network.

Top networks by TV ad impressions November 21-27.

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