TV Ad Impressions Grow, Sports Programming Pushes Higher Results:

Traditional TV programming viewership may continue to sink -- but TV advertising impressions keep growing.

Total day and prime-time TV advertising impressions are higher this season so far versus the year before -- up 6.8% (to 1.88 trillion) and 4.7% (to 678.2 billion), respectively, according to

Impressions data tallies a total 155 broadcast and cable networks from September 6, 2021 through May 8.

An impression, according to, is defined as continuous viewing matched on a TV set for six seconds -- the shortest ad unit.

Data comes from across 51 million smart TV sets and set-top boxes, which is projected for “accurate representation of U.S. households.”

Higher advertising impressions were partly attributable to the growth in sports programming. NFL programming dominated the top program list for share in TV ad impressions with 9.1%.
College football was next at 3.8%, followed by college basketball (Men’s) at 2.5%; and the NBA with 2.1%.



Next come two TV network early news shows -- ABC’s “Good Morning America” with 1.8% and NBC’s “Today” at 1.5%.

Then comes Major League Baseball programming at 1.3%, followed by CBS’ “The Price is Right” at 1.2%; CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” with 1.2%; and ESPN's SportsCenter” at 1.1%.

CBS tallied the greatest share of total TV ad impressions by network at 16.5%, followed by NBC with 12.4%; ABC at 11.9%; Fox News Channel (8.9%); ESPN (5.4%); CNN (4.3%); MSNBC (3.8%); Univision (3.8%); and Telemundo (2.4%).

3 comments about "TV Ad Impressions Grow, Sports Programming Pushes Higher Results:".
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  1. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, May 17, 2022 at 10:54 a.m.

    Wayne:  As you are fully aware this data is NOT an "accurate representation of US Households".  Also, such a data source (smart TVs and STBs) represents at best content rendered counts on screens and NOT "impressions" which are based on persons measured for an OTS - opportunity to see, at a minimum. The iSpot definition of an impression is "convenient" but specious.  This data reflects neither "viewership" nor "viewing" by an audience.   
    When is Media Post going to caution its readers on deliberately misleading reports of this nature? 

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 17, 2022 at 5:08 p.m.

    Just to add to Tony's comment, since when can you measure six or more consecutive seconds of "viewing" and call that an ad "impression"when you don't even know if anyone is present in the room, let alone watching? Or is the smartset so "smart" that it's the one "watching"?

    As for the 51 million smartset panel representing the total population---I assume by the statistical device of "sample balancing"---how do you know that it's findings represent the activities on all 350 million TV sets, including many "dumb ones" as well as homes that don't even have a smartset?How was the panel recruited? On a random probability basis? Did each home give its consent to have its ACR sets used for this purpose? If not, what was the opt-out rate? Is this service MRC accredited?, etc. etc.

     Now, to be fair, I'm not suggesting that it's Wayne's role to dig down this deeply every time a survey comes across his desk. That's not a reasonable proposition and if all of the stuff I mentioned was included in the article it would make pretty dull reading---if anybody got past the first few sentences. However, it is fair to point out that these types of results do not necessarily reflect viewing, and certainly not ad exposure---as Tony points out. That would take only one fairly short sentence and most readers would not be put off by it.

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, May 17, 2022 at 9:05 p.m.

    The cognoscenti are correctly unimpressed with the lack or veracity of 'impressions'.   To coin Thomas Tusser, a fool and their money are soon parted.

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