NFL's Opening Weekend Scores Watch-Time, Ad Impressions Wins: TV By the Numbers

·4 min read
 Quarterback Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants runs the ball during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Quarterback Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants runs the ball during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Sept. 5-11, highlighting the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Vizio’s Inscape, and network and show TV ad impressions insights via iSpot.tv.

Most-Watched Shows and Networks

Via Inscape, Vizio’s TV data product with glass-level insights from a panel of more than 19 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).

The NFL's opening weekend secured the top spot in our watch-time ranking for Sept. 5-11. Across Thursday and Sunday broadcasts on NBC, CBS and Fox, the league accounted for 7.16% of minutes watched.

Some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • Beyond NFL games, live sports occupies three more spots near the top of our ranking, including college football at No. 2, the U.S. Open at No. 3 and Major League Baseball at No. 9.

  • Also making an appearance: NFL Red Zone, which jumps in at No. 23 as fans were anxious to tune into Sunday’s scoring plays.

  • Other week-over-week newcomers to our ranking are Chicago Fire (from No. 26 to No. 13), Fox News Live (from unlisted to No. 21) and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (from No. 29 to No. 25).

  • Additionally, Chicago Fire is one of five procedurals among the top 15 programs by watch-time for the week, joined by Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (No. 4), NCIS (No. 10), Blue Bloods (No. 11) and Gunsmoke (No. 14).

Most-watched shows on TV by percent shared duration Sept. 5-11.
Most-watched shows on TV by percent shared duration Sept. 5-11.

NBC leaps to No. 1 on our list of most-watched networks, thanks to primetime NFL games on both Thursday (Los Angeles Rams vs. Buffalo Bills) and Sunday (Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys). The network scored 8.39% of watch-time – up from 5.34% the previous week.

Additional insights around the most-watched networks from Sept. 5-11:

  • HBO flies from No. 29 to No. 17 week-over-week in our ranking, thanks in large part to House of the Dragon, which accounted for over 28% of minutes watched on the network.

  • A full weekend of football lifted Fox to No. 3 (from No. 6 the previous week), as the network increased watch-time from 4.01% to 6.31%.

  • History makes a modest climb from No. 27 to No. 25 week-over-week, with Ancient Aliens and American Pickers combining for over 46% of those minutes watched.

  • CNN hurdles from No. 11 to No. 8 week-over-week, increasing watch-time from 1.81% to 1.92%.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent shared duration Sept. 5-Sept. 11.
Most-watched networks on TV by percent shared duration Sept. 5-Sept. 11.

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.

Week one of the NFL’s regular season delivered 16.69% of TV ad impressions to fly to the No. 1 spot in our ranking. Between NFL and college games, football accounted for nearly 27% of TV ad impressions on the week.

More insights about the top programs by TV ad impressions:

  • With back-to-back nights of fantasy suite episodes, The Bachelorette rises (rose?) from No. 31 to No. 9 by TV ad impressions week-over-week.

  • New airings of La herencia episodes on Univision delivered 0.76% of TV ad impressions, as the telenovela more than doubled its share of impressions week-over-week.

  • Additionally, four American daytime soap operas appear in this week’s ranking: The Young and The Restless (No. 7), Days of Our Lives (No. 16), General Hospital (No. 18) and The Bold and The Beautiful (No. 24).

  • An abundance of live sports also means an abundance of highlights, helping SportsCenter increase its share of TV ad impressions by 47.5% week-over-week.

Top shows by TV ad impressions Sept. 5-11.
Top shows by TV ad impressions Sept. 5-11.

Thanks in large part to two NFL broadcasts on the week, NBC doubled its share of TV ad impressions week-over-week to take the top spot in our TV-ad-impressions-by-network ranking. NBC delivered 16.86% of impressions from Sept. 5-11, up from 8.22% the previous week.

Additional insights around the top networks by impressions:

  • CBS and Fox also benefited from week one of NFL action, as the former increased its share of TV ad impressions from 7.82% to 12.32% week-over-week, and the latter jumped from 2.40% to 8.68%.

  • Speaking of sports, cable sports networks are all over this week’s ranking, including ESPN (No. 5), ESPN2 (No. 11), MLB Network (No. 13), Fox Sports 1 (No. 14), Big Ten Network (No. 19) and NFL Network (No. 24).

  • Bravo hops from No. 19 to No. 16 week-over-week in our ranking, as The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills account for over 32% of impressions on the network.

  • Lifetime TV ad impressions grew by over 89% week-over-week, due in large part to episodes of Married At First Sight.

Top networks by TV ad impressions Sept. 5-11.
Top networks by TV ad impressions Sept. 5-11.