Back-To-School: Streaming Declines, Broadcast/Cable Gain

As 2- to 17-year-olds headed back to school in August, streaming TV viewing saw a decline of half a share point versus July to a 38.3% share of total day viewing for persons 2 years and older, according to Nielsen’s Gauge measure.

Still, industry-leading streaming TV viewing is up a full seven share points from a year ago, when it was 31.3%.

Although broadcast TV viewership ticked up nearly a half a share point (0.4) from July as a result of late-summer season unscripted programming, broadcast TV was still down 5.5% from the same month a year ago, to a 20.4% overall share. 

Cable TV viewing witnessed a similar increase -- up a 0.6 share point to land at an overall 30.2% share. 

In August, cable TV benefited from NFL pre-season games, as a part of 21.6% rise for overall sports programming -- as well as 18% higher TV news viewing, thanks to a Presidential debate. 

Eighty-five percent of cable gains came from viewers ages 65 years and older, Nielsen says. Compared to a year ago, cable TV viewing is still down 10.6%.

Biggest individual streaming platforms pretty much remain the same: YouTube (9.1% share); Netflix (8.2%); Hulu (3.6%);  Prime Video (3.4%); and Disney+ (2.0%).

Peacock registered the largest increase, month over month -- up 8.3% thanks to WWE SummerSlam, NFL Hall of Fame Game and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” Paramount+ was 4.2% higher versus July helped by “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” and a new original series “Special Ops: Lioness.”

Peacock is now at 1.2% share, while Paramount+ has a 1.1% share.

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