CBS Leads Networks In Total Minutes Viewed This Season, But Is Behind Netflix

For the first two months of the TV season, CBS led all broadcast networks in total day minutes viewed for persons 2 years of age and up -- and came in higher than the combined total for streamers Amazon, Hulu, Disney+ and HBO Max.

CBS tallied 215.6 billion minutes of viewing from September 19- November 20, followed by NBC at 154.1 billion minutes, ABC with 130.4 billion and Fox with 119.3 billion.

Sports was the top major programming category for CBS overall -- with 67 billion minutes, mostly from NFL and college football. CBS also led all networks in just prime-time entertainment programming -- with 73 minutes.

CBS is still behind streamer Netflix, which totaled 221.4 billion minutes viewed over the period.

Streaming measurement from Nielsen for the period was from total day streaming of original content.



CBS says its top 20 prime-time programs beat Netflix’s top 20 original programs -- at 65.6 billion minutes versus 54.9 billion for Netflix.

Top CBS shows were “FBI” (5.0 billion), “NCIS”(4.9 billion), and “Blue Bloods” (4.2 billion).

Much farther behind Netflix in streaming minutes viewed were Disney+ (21.8 billion), followed by Amazon Prime Video (18.4 billion), Hulu (16.3 billion) and HBO Max (4.7 billion).

Using total viewing minutes to measure the scale and strength of a TV network/platform is a growing industry trend. Third-party companies such as Nielsen, and individual streaming platforms like Netflix, regularly disclose this data.

For some media executives, measuring the total hours provides a greater understanding of the true completion rate.

Netflix says using measurement of hours viewed helps to determine "engagement" for specific TV series and movies. At the same time, there can be biases, some analysts say, because it can favor content that is often re-watched -- such as kids TV programming

5 comments about "CBS Leads Networks In Total Minutes Viewed This Season, But Is Behind Netflix".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, December 2, 2022 at 8:35 a.m.

    Interesting stats from Nielsen, Wayne. I assume that what they are comparing is the total all-show "viewing" for the broadcast TV networks with that portion of the streaming  services' viewing that was attained by their "original" programming---at least that's how it looks based on the terminology used. If so, then we can't really equate the broadcast numbers with those for streaming as the latter do not include sizeable amounts of exposure to  content not created by or for the service itself. Hence, Netflix, if all content was counted, would far outdistance CBS. If I'm incorrect on this I ask someone at Nielsen to please clarify.

  2. Jack Wakshlag from Media Strategy, Research & Analytics replied, December 2, 2022 at 3:26 p.m.

    I don't see how time for streamers or linear (in minutes or hours) is for original programming only. I don't see how CBS would even obtain that info for streaming sources. I just think it's total minutes. Am also curious as to whether these are "persons minutes" where each viewer is counted even if they are watching together or "device minutes".

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, December 2, 2022 at 3:40 p.m.

    Jack, the wording seems to say that it's all content by the  broadcast networks but only originated content for the streamers. Which is why I commented. For example, Netflix has about a 7-7.5% share of all U.S.TV viewing while the leading broadcast TV network---CBS----is way below that at about 4-4.5% and all three major broadcst TV networks combine for about a 10-12% share. . Therefore it is unlikely that CBS and Netflix could be in a virtual tie in total minutes of viewing recently---unless Nielsen is not counting all of Netflix's cntent in this report.

    As for what it represents, I'm reasonably confident that it's persons minutes based on the national people meter panels, which asume that those who claim to be viewing when a given channel is selected watch every minute of its content so long as the set remains tuned to the show and the "viewer" does not indicate a cessation of "viewing"---which notice is almost never given even though people frequently leave the room while "watching". . 

  4. Jack Wakshlag from Media Strategy, Research & Analytics replied, December 2, 2022 at 3:46 p.m.

    CBS content only for time the network airs content or is it an affiliate number?  Netflix is 24/7. CBS not. These types of studies are hard to understand without backup detail. 

    I don't know that Nielsen categorizes any online/streaming content as original or not. Would be news to me!

  5. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, December 2, 2022 at 5:10 p.m.

    Jack, I agree that this is a somewhat confusing release that needs clarification, however, I assume that Nielsen is referring to nationally aired content, hence it's the CBS TV network's total program lineup that is being tallied. I also suspect that Nielsen has a way of identifying content as to who initiated ---or first licensed and used it. I hope that someone from Nielsen will chime in as this question is sure to come up on other forums.

Next story loading loading..