Super Bowl, Winter Olympics and news provide a boost to TV viewing during a traditionally slower TV month – Nielsen

Super Bowl, Winter Olympics and news provide a boost to TV viewing during a traditionally slower TV month – Nielsen

The February TV audience always falls behind January’s, the month with the highest viewing months. This year was no exception, despite the trifecta of the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics and the increased demand for news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine late in the month. The January 2022 month was five weeks long, with heavy use week just after Christmas. This increased TV viewing power led to a 5.7% decrease in TV viewing in February 2022, below the average of 5% over five years.

As streaming boomed, broadcasts suffered a 8% drop in viewers. January 2022 was a high point. But February wasn’t without its high points, as the Super Bowl gave broadcast a leg up over the streamers enjoying its highest weekly share of viewing (28.7%) since October 2021. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February caused both broadcast and cable news to spike. In week 4, cable viewing rose 54%, helping cable news to gain one-fourth (up from 16%-17%) of total cable viewing. Broadcast news, on the other hand, increased 6.3% to 15% in the last week of the month. This elevates broadcast news to the second-largest genre after drama.

The Winter Olympics definitely boosted sports viewing during the month. However, we can see week-by-week coverage of the events category on broadcast television that highlights Super Bowl LVI’s impact.

Peacock usage soared during this sports-heavy month, which was also good for streaming. Peacock carried both the big and winter games, so it helped boost streaming. Peacock consumption reached its peak during Super Bowl Week, and it was strong throughout the Olympics. Outside of sports, however, streaming’s share of viewing was largely flat month-over-month.

February was big for video gaming, as the “other” category gained almost a full share point due to increased time spent consumers video gaming during the President’s Day holiday, other winter breaks around the nation, amplified by the highly anticipated release of games like Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West and Destiny 2.

Let me take you to the details of our methodology.

The video gives you a glimpse into the workings of The Gauge by Brian Fuhrer.

METHODOLOGY & FREQUENTLY QUESTED QUESTIONS

The Gauge is a monthly analysis of consumers’ access to content on key TV delivery channels, such as Broadcast, Streaming and Cable. This chart includes information about the top streaming providers. This chart shows individual streaming distributors’ share of each category as well as total TV usage.

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