Nielsen’s The Gauge: Monthly Total TV and Streaming Snapshot for February Details Linear Uptick as News and Sports Consumption Grow

Cable and broadcast news viewing spike 54% and 6% respectively as Russia invades Ukraine

Nielsen announced that The Gauge, its monthly total TV and streaming snapshot, revealed that in February 2022, both cable and broadcast news viewing in the U.S. spiked as Russia invaded Ukraine. Cable viewing increased 54% during the last week of February, helping news gain one-fourth of all cable consumption, representing a 16.5% overall month to month increase. Comparatively, broadcast news increased by 6% to 15% in the final week of the month, elevating the genre to the second-largest behind drama.

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Nielsen's The Gauge February 2022
Nielsen’s The Gauge February 2022

Broadcast television gained its highest weekly share of viewing since October 2021 at 28.7%, primarily off the heels of a compelling Super Bowl, which accounted for 39% of total broadcast viewership during the week of February 7. Overall sports programming viewership increased during the Winter Olympics, capturing 20% and 23% of total broadcast usage during the weeks of February 1 and February 14, respectively. Despite the sports-induced broadcast viewership increase seen in February, total television viewing was down 5.7% from January, below the 5% average decrease over the past five years.

The “Other” category—which includes and is reflective of video game usage—gained almost a full share point due to increased time consumers spent gaming during the Presidents’ Day holiday and other winter breaks in the U.S.

Measuring and monitoring consumers’ streaming behavior in a comparable way against linear TV usage is a critical source of information for the industry as content creators, media companies, streaming platforms, advertisers, industry groups, talent agencies and the talent themselves all seek clarity around the various video content that consumers engage with.

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