NFL bolstered broadcast TV views in January: Nielsen

Streaming continues to capture a sizable share of U.S. video consumption, but sports gave broadcast viewing a boost in January, per Nielsen’s monthly The Gauge report.

Of the three primary viewing categories Nielsen is tracking, broadcast was the only one to increase its overall share from December – from 24.7% to 24.9%. The Gauge noted broadcast sports viewing jumped 55% in January, with the NFL playoffs making up the top 10 telecasts for the sports category in January.

Sports and drama viewing accounted for 25.3% and 23.4% of broadcast content consumption, respectively. Overall broadcast usage rose 2.1% since December but declined 6% year-over-year from January 2022.

Nielsen the gauge Jan 2023

It’s likely that sports will also impact TV usage in February on account of the Super Bowl, which reeled in approximately 118 million viewers on Fox, per iSpot metrics.

As for streaming, consumption rose 1.2% month over month, though the category maintained its 38.1% share of total TV time.

Among the streamers represented, Amazon Prime Video nabbed the largest monthly viewing increase in January, gaining 9.3% in usage. Prime Video, which in January added a new season of “Jack Ryan” and the movie “Shotgun Wedding,” ended the month with a 2.9% share of total TV time.

YouTube still remained at the top of the pack with an 8.6% share of TV time, though it lost one-tenth of a share point month over month. YouTube also includes virutal MVPD YouTube TV. Netflix usage remained consistent, with the streamer holding onto its 7.5% share.

Hulu saw usage increase by 2.9%, which resulted in the platform gaining 0.1 share points in January. Notably last month, Hulu renewed its next-day streaming deal with Fox. Virtual MVPD Hulu Live made up 9.1% of overall Hulu viewing, according to Nielsen.

Peacock, which broke out of the “other” streaming category in December, steadily held its 1% viewing share. Whereas Disney+ viewing declined 9.9% – losing 0.2 share points – which The Gauge partly attributed to a drop-off in holiday movie viewing.

Cable usage was fairly flat compared to December, as its overall TV share dropped from 30.9% to 30.4% month-to-month. Nielsen said the drop resulted from a 19% decline in feature film viewing. Cable news meanwhile dipped 4%, but the analysis noted it remains the most-watched genre in the category.