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Drama and sports bolster broadcast viewing in October, according to The Gauge – Nielsen

Drama and sports bolster broadcast viewing in October, according to The Gauge – Nielsen

Drama and sports bolster broadcast viewing in October, according to The Gauge – Nielsen


The combination of live sport and new fall television lineups was an enormous boon to broadcast television. According to The Gauge, SME’s total TV and streaming snapshot, broadcast gained 2 share points to represent 28% of total TV viewing in October. This is the second monthly increase in broadcast viewing, and October’s time was equal to that spent streaming. To gain share, cable and “other” each gave ground from a share perspective.

The rise in television viewership was due to two key genres: sports, up 22% since September and general drama. This was because viewers were attracted to new seasons of programming, which has now begun in full swing. In October, 35% of viewers watched broadcast programming together. 

While streaming’s total share of TV remained flat, The Gauge highlights two notable changes beneath the surface of the 28% share metric:

  • Linear streamers (e.g., Charter/Spectrum, DirecTV, SlingTV, etc.), which are included in the “other streaming” category, saw double-digit viewership growth
  • Netflix gained share points to account for 7% total viewing. The actual number of minutes viewed increased 5.5% thanks to the popularity of hits like “Black Mirror.” Squid Game, Please Maid.

Total minutes viewed across Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ was down about 2.5% each; Hulu viewership was down 0.3%, while YouTube viewership increased 2.2%, amplified by the company’s linear offering.

Please refer to the below methodology.

The video features Brian Fuhrer from SME, who is SVP Product Strategy. He explains the fascinating backstory of The Gauge. Watch this space to learn if broadcast can maintain its momentum in the next month, or if streaming will attract new viewers. 


Monthly macroanalyses of consumer access across major television platforms including Broadcast and Streaming as well as Cable, are provided by The Gauge. This chart includes information about the top streaming providers. It shows both the percentage of total TV use by each streaming distributor and by category.

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