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.
The Gauge’s data are derived from two weighted panels. They then combine to make the graphic. SME’s streaming data is derived from a subset of Streaming Meter-enabled TV households within the National TV panel. The linear TV sources (Broadcast and Cable), as well as total usage are based on viewing from SME’s overall TV panel.
Each viewing source has a different time period, so all data are specific. The data, representing a 5 week month, includes a combination of Live+7 for weeks 1 – 4 in the data time period. Note: Live+7 also includes live TV viewing and viewing for up to seven additional days. The Live+3 package includes live television viewing and viewing for up to three additional days.
Within The Gauge, “Other” includes all other TV. All other TV, including unmeasured source tuning, streaming via a cable set-top box, gaming and any other device (DVD player) are included in this category. Because streaming via cable set top boxes does not credit respective streaming distributors, these are included in the “Other” category. SME will continue to work towards crediting individual streaming distributors via cable set-top boxes as we improve our Streaming Meter technology.
Streaming platforms listed as “Other Streaming” includes any high-bandwidth video streaming on television that is not individually broken out.
Hulu Live is available for viewing, as well as Youtube TV viewing.
Ecoded Linear Streaming, also known as encoded TV, can be found under the Broadcast or Cable group (linear TV), as well as under Streaming, and other streaming options eg Hulu TV, Youtube TV, and Other Streaming MVPD/vMVPD Apps. MVPD is a multichannel video programming distributor. This service provides several television channels. Distributors that combine linear TV content from the major networks into a single subscription package and make it accessible to all devices connected via broadband internet are called vMVPDs.