The opening of the NFL and college football seasons gave the broadcasters significant gains in TV ratings in September. Amazon’s Prime Video also got a boost.
According to Nielsen’s monthly Gauge report, broadcast networks accounted for 23 percent of all TV usage in the United States in September. That’s up from 20.4 percent in August and was driven by a massive 360 percent increase in TV sports viewership that month (in Nielsen’s tracking, “September” means August 28 – September 24). Viewership among key demographics adults 18-49 and 25-54 grew more than 30 percent on wireless networks.
That’s now an established pattern for broadcasters: Their share of TV usage tends to bottom out in late summer before rebounding in the fall, based on two years of Nielsen’s Gauge data.
Prime Video reached its highest point in the two years it was on the monthly platform rankings, thanks in part to the NFL. The streamer had its two largest Thursday night football broadcasts so far in September, giving it 3.6 percent of all TV usage, tying it for third with Hulu among individual streaming platforms.
However, streaming as a whole fell slightly for the second month in a row after peaking in July. Viewers spent 37.5 percent of their time streaming. This is still the largest share among platforms, but is down from 38.3 percent in August. YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, Max, Peacock and Paramount+ all saw small declines.
Cable also saw an increase in sports viewing, with an increase of 25.5 percent, but this also fell to a total of 29.8 percent of TV use, compared to 30.2 percent the month before. Other TV use made up the remaining 9.6 percent.
Nielsen’s Gauge rankings for September 2023 are below.
Streaming: 37.5 percent of TV usage
Cable: 29.8 percent
Broadcast: 23 percent
Other: 9.6 percent
YouTube: 9 percent
Netflix: 7.8 percent
Prime Video: 3.6 percent
Hulu: 3.6 percent
Disney+: 1.9 percent
Tubi: 1.3 percent
Maximum: 1.2 percent
Roku Channel: 1.1 percent
Peacock: 1.1 percent
Largest+: 1 percent
Pluto TV: 0.8 percent
All others: 5 percent