If it seems to you like all of the premium live streaming services and even bargains like Paramount+ and Peacock are pushing football every chance they get, you are not wrong. And there is a big reason for that. According to numbers from last week the NFL and College Football held on to the top two spots as far as the actual time people spent watching it compared to everything else on TV. The numbers from September 18-24 are from Inscape, the currency-grade smart TV ACR data provider and data technology division of Vizio. Data is linear, live TV only and includes all episode types (new and reruns).
Weekly results like this are why networks are willing to spend so much money for the rights to NFL and College Football and why there are not more inexpensive sports free services on the market. Sports, especially football drives the numbers. Aside from the top of the 10 most viewed programming, NFL Redzone, a specialized broadcast that allows viewers to concentrate on high-impact scoring plays during an NFL Sunday, finished number 8 with Major League Baseball and ESPN’s Sports Center rounding out the top 10. Sports is not the whole story of course. Slots 3-5 in the top 5 saw big numbers for Good Morning America, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and The Today Show.
The irony behind those numbers is that while NFL and College football is heavily promoted by streaming services lots of the action is available without anything resembling cable or pay TV at all.