Despite Football’s Big September Debut, Broadcast And Cable TV Viewing Still Didn’t Equal Streaming During The Month, Nielsen Says

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Despite strong tune-in for the start of the NFL and college football seasons, broadcast and cable TV viewership still didn’t measure up to streaming in the month of September, Nielsen said.

The firm’s monthly edition of The Gauge, released this morning, has streaming as a category at 36.9% of overall viewing, compared with cable at 33.8% and broadcast at 24.2%.

The broadcast category surged more than 12% in September, driven by a massive 222% uptick in sports viewing as NFL and college games continued to set records.

The news was less upbeat on the cable side. Despite a 40% increase in sports viewing (with Major League Baseball, the U.S. Open of tennis and other draws), cable usage held steady in September. As a percentage of the whole, cable fell to its lowest share since Nielsen began issuing Gauge reports in the spring of 2021.

Among the subsets of the streaming category, YouTube reached a record 8% share of viewing, equaling Netflix’s high-water mark from earlier this year and leading all streaming outlets for the first time. A new name has also joined the rankings: Paramount’s Pluto TV. The free, ad-supported service accounted for 1% of all viewing during the month, according to Nielsen.

Amazon Prime Video had 2.9% of the overall viewership pie, but notched a nearly 35% year-over-year gain in share due to the debuts of The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power and Thursday Night Football. The latter began a long-term, exclusive run on Prime Video this season.

HBO Max surged nearly 10% over August levels, a bigger jump than any other streaming outlet reporting numbers to Nielsen (whose list doesn’t yet include Peacock or Paramount+), due to House Of The Dragon and Game Of Thrones.

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