Linear TV Maintains Strong Sports, News Viewing Share

For all the gains that streaming TV has made with viewers, those platforms are still far behind with sports and news program content -- which remain strong in live, linear TV programming segments.

New research from Vizio's Inscape says cable, satellite, and over-the-air platforms combined posted a nearly 77% share of sports TV and video viewing and nearly 82% of all news TV and video viewing in the third quarter of 2023.

The data came from Vizio's Inscape TV data unit of 22 million opt-in users through Vizio smart TV devices.

When it comes to sports specifically, Inscape says 71% of college football viewing and 72% of NFL viewing is on live, linear TV networks. 

Streaming has a 18% share of news viewing, and a 23% of sports viewing. This includes streaming gains in simulcasting of NFL games of TV networks on streamers -- Peacock and Paramount+ in particular. 

Among other high-profile streaming sports offerings, Amazon Prime Video has aired the “Thursday Night Football” series, with increasingly high ratings, for the past two years. This past year, Apple TV+ and Peacock have each streamed a package from Major League Baseball.



In terms of total streaming-to-linear TV comparisons, streaming had 59% share viewing time, while cable, satellite, over-the-air had a 41% share, according to Inscape.

In the third quarter, Inscape data continues to show viewing erosion on cable and satellite platforms, where nearly 6% of those U.S. households “quit” viewing in the third quarter of this year, up from 4.4% in the first quarter.

In addition, 12% of U.S. cable and satellite households reduced their cable and satellite viewing by 75% or more in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the same period a year before, while another 11% lowered legacy TV viewing by 50% to 75%.

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