Although the NBA playoffs on ESPN and TNT boosted sports viewership in May, overall cable TV viewing continues to decline -- down 14% in the most recent reading of Nielsen’s The Gauge.
The Gauge, which measures total day viewership of persons two years and older, now gives total cable TV viewing a 31.1 share -- versus a 36.5 share in the year-ago monthly period.
This was largely attributable to cable TV news viewing -- a major component of cable TV viewing. Nielsen says this was down 11% from the previous month.
Broadcast viewing also declined year-over-year -- down 5.6% to a 22.8% share.
After a slight dip in April, streaming usage continues its march to higher ground, now at a dominant 36.4% share -- up from 31.9% a year ago. Major gains were seen with Netflix -- up 9.2% (to a 7.9% share) -- and Amazon Prime Video, 5.1% higher to a 3.1% share.
Nielsen says it has made a change in methodology and now credits viewing of streaming originals, through cable set-top boxes, in the streaming category. Viewing was previously included in the “Other” category.
At the same time, Nielsen says YouTube has been growing, and is now at a 8.5% share, versus 6.7% a year ago, while Hulu is at 3.7%, up from 3.4% a year ago.
Nielsen notes a year ago YouTube and Hulu respective linear virtual pay TV businesses were included as part of the streaming category. In February of this year, those businesses were excluded from the streaming category.