TV Broadcast Viewership Jumped 10% in October as Streaming Growth Slowed, Nielsen Reports

Total viewership – including streaming, cable and broadcast — saw a combined 2.2% increase


TV and broadcast viewing saw an October uptick while streaming volume grew slower than past months, according to The Gauge Report from Nielsen.

Time spent watching television experienced a 2.2% monthly increase in October, marking the second consecutive month TV usage grew more than its previous month. Broadcast viewing also experienced substantial growth, jumping 10% in usage since September, likely boosting overall time spent watching TV.

The steep increase in broadcast viewing has positioned the broadcast category as 26.0% of total TV usage — its largest share since February 2022. The October figures also boosted streaming to make up 37.3% of TV viewing, while cable’s share dropped to 32.9%. Compared to one year ago, over TV usage inched forward by 2.8%.

Despite the broadcast category showing the largest month-over-month increase in viewing volume (+9.8%) and share (+1.8 points) across all categories in The Gauge, broadcast viewing volume decreased 6.2% and lost 2.5 share points compared to one year ago.

On the other hand, cable, which was the only category in The Gauge to remain fairly flat (-0.7%) compared to September, saw a loss of nearly a full share point (-0.9) in October. The cable category has also seen a consistent decline every month since March 2022. Standing at 32.9% of total TV usage in October, cable viewing was down 8.6% and the category lost 4.1 share points as compared to one year ago.

Within the cable genres, cable news viewing increased 3.3% in October and maintained its stature as the largest cable genre at 19.6%.

Streaming, however, maintained a steady increase with a 3.3% monthly increase in viewing and added 0.4 share points. Compared to last year, streaming usage grew by 35.1% and the category gained 8.9 share points.

In terms of streaming services, viewing for several services was up across the board, with Disney+ volume increasing nearly 7% compared to September, Hulu usage rising 5% and YouTube increased over 8% in October.

Additionally, the increase in broadcast viewing boosted both Hulu and YouTube, as their linear streaming components which made up 12.3% and 14.6% of each platforms’ share, respectively.