The opening of the NFL and college football seasons gave broadcasters a significant gain in TV viewing in September. Amazon’s Prime Video got a boost too.
Broadcast networks drew 23 percent of all TV use in the United States in September, according to Nielsen‘s monthly Gauge report. That’s up from 20.4 percent in August and was driven by a huge 360 percent increase in TV sports viewing for the month (in Nielsen’s tracking, “September” means Aug. 28-Sept. 24). Viewing among the key ad sales demographics of adults 18-49 and 25-54 each grew by more than 30 percent on over-the-air networks.
That’s something of an established pattern for broadcasters now: Their share of TV use tends to hit a low in late summer before rebounding in the fall, based on two years of Nielsen’s Gauge data.
Prime Video hit its highest mark in the two years of the monthly platform rankings, also thanks in part to the NFL. The streamer had its two biggest Thursday Night Football telecasts to date in September, helping it take up 3.6 percent of all TV use, tied for third with Hulu among individual streaming platforms.
Streaming as a whole, however, slipped some for the second straight month after hitting a high in July. Viewers spent 37.5 percent of their time with streaming — which is still the biggest share among platforms but is down from 38.3 percent in August. YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, Max, Peacock and Paramount+ all had small declines.
Cable also saw increased sports viewing, to the tune of a 25.5 percent increase, but it too slipped overall to 29.8 percent of TV use, from 30.2 percent the previous month. Other TV use made up the remaining 9.6 percent.
Nielsen’s Gauge rankings for September 2023 are below.
Streaming: 37.5 percent of TV use
Cable: 29.8 percent
Broadcast: 23 percent
Other: 9.6 percent
YouTube: 9 percent
Netflix: 7.8 percent
Prime Video: 3.6 percent
Hulu: 3.6 percent
Disney+: 1.9 percent
Tubi: 1.3 percent
Max: 1.2 percent
Roku Channel: 1.1 percent
Peacock: 1.1 percent
Paramount+: 1 percent
Pluto TV: 0.8 percent
All others: 5 percent