U.S. viewers watched 106B minutes of TV on Thanksgiving - Nielsen

Streaming continued to dominate TV viewing in November, with sports coverage during the Thanksgiving holiday boosting overall TV consumption, according to Nielsen’s The Gauge. U.S. audiences spent nearly 106 billion minutes watching TV on Thanksgiving Day – making it the second most-watched day of TV so far in 2022.

That figure – a 7.8% monthly increase from October - fell slightly short of 107 billion minutes viewed on January 16, which Nielsen said was largely driven by three NFL Wild Card games on that day.

Last month was eventful sports-wise, with the kickoff of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The U.S.-England matchup on November 25 drew an audience of 15.4 million – a record for men’s soccer viewing, according to Fox Sports. The NFL’s annual Thanksgiving game also reached a viewership milestone, with 42 million people watching the Dallas Cowboys take on the New York Giants.

All told, Nielsen’s streaming category broke yet another record by snagging 38.2% of total TV time in November – a 10.2% increase from October and a 41.2% year-over-year increase from November 2021.

Broadcast TV saw a month-to-month increase of 6.7%, driven by World Cup, NFL and World Series programming. However, the surge in total TV consumption caused broadcast’s overall share to slightly drop to 25.7%. Sporting events accounted for 32% of all broadcast viewing.

Gauge Nov 2022

The Gauge also took into account those who watched live TV via virtual MVPD. Linear streaming scooped up 5.8% of total TV time in November, while representing 15.2% of streaming consumption.

Within the streaming category, YouTube (including YouTube TV) retained the top spot with a viewing share of 8.8%, having reached that milestone for the first time in September. YouTube TV accounted for 15.4% of the platform’s overall viewing.

Netflix was next on the streaming ranking, capturing a sizable 7.6% share. Notably, the streamer last month launched its first-ever ad-supported tier. According to Nielsen, Netflix viewing jumped 13.1% from October.

As for cable, the category finished November with 31.8% of total TV time, representing a month-to-month increase of just 4.2%, lower than both streaming and broadcast. News was the top genre in cable viewing with an 18.9% share, on account of the midterm elections. World Cup coverage also boosted cable sports viewing, which climbed 19.6% year-over-year from November 2021