It isn’t only premium streaming OTT platforms that are seeing usage growth, due to COVID-19 issues. Among premium cable networks, viewing is also sharply higher as more people stay home from work or school.
Six legacy premium cable TV networks — HBO, HBO2, Showtime, Showtime2, Starz and Starz Encore — collectively have seen more than double the average time spent watching premium cable programming between March 17-23, 2020, compared to the same time period in 2019, according to Samba TV, a TV data and audience analytics company.
Over the most recent week, Starz/Encore was up 216%, with Showtime 2, 168% higher; HBO2, 130% more; Showtime, 114%; Starz, 48%, and HBO, 44%.
The research also says total daytime viewing of these channels more than doubled.
As other research illustrates, digital OTT streaming platforms continue to grow. Samba says Netflix and/or Amazon Prime have seen double-digit percentage increases between March 12 to March 18, versus the previous week.
In addition, looking at just one day — Wednesday, March 18 — the average time spent for Netflix and/or Amazon climbed 41%, compared to the same day the week before.
Samba gets its data from a U.S. television panel of more than 3.4 million homes, using software in smart TVs and through set-top boxes, mapped to connected devices.