National TV Spending Falls 11% Summer-To-Date, Live Broadcast Viewing Drops 25%

Summer TV broadcast viewing patterns continue to follow that of recent live, linear television trends overall -- registering double-digit percentage declines in viewing, with national TV spend also sinking.

After nearly two months, season-to-date viewership dropped 25% to average 1.81 million viewers per summer prime-time episode, according to Nielsen’s live program- plus-seven days of time-shifted video-on-demand metric for the period from May 25-August 13.

Summer prime-time episodes averaged 2.4 million a year ago.

Some perennial top non-scripted series continue to hold their own this year. Through 10 episodes, NBC’s leading summer show “America’s Got Talent” is down 6% to 7.3 million viewers versus 7.8 million a year ago.

CBS show “Big Brother” is next among the summer reality shows, falling 12% to averaging 4.2 million, with 4.4 million viewers on Wednesdays, 4.1 million on Sundays  and 4.0 million on Thursdays.



ABC’s “Celebrity Family Feud” numbers are more in line with overall broadcast summer viewing trends -- down 24% to 3.9 million (5.1 million a year ago). This is also the the case for ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” which sank 21% to 3.1 million, while ABC’s “The $100,000 Pyramid” was off 17% to 3.4 million.

NBC’s scripted drama “The Blacklist” after seven episodes -- which will soon end its original, live linear TV run after 10 seasons -- came in at 4.1 million.

NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” is one of the rare original summer shows to show an improvement versus a year ago. After nine episodes this season, it is up 15% to 3.7 million viewers (3.2 million in 2022, through 10 episodes).

ABC’s “The Chase" through four episodes this year also grew, 21% to 3.4 million.

National TV summer advertising revenue during the May 25-August 13 period was down 11% $2.27 billion collectively, looking at five English-language TV networks (CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox and the CW), according to EDO Ad EnGage -- compared to $2.54 billion a year ago.

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