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News Consumption in April Boosts Cable's Share of TV, according to Nielsen's Latest Report of The Gauge™
[May 16, 2023]

News Consumption in April Boosts Cable's Share of TV, according to Nielsen's Latest Report of The Gauge™

NEW YORK, May 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Nielsen's April 2023 report of The Gauge™, the media measurement company's monthly snapshot of total broadcast, cable and streaming consumption that occurs through a television, cable was the only category to record an increase in share this month (+0.4 pts.), boosted by an upswing in cable news viewing. This gain for cable also represents the first back-to-back share increase for the category since the inception of The Gauge in May 2021.

With a decrease of 1.9% from March to April, total TV usage in the U.S. declined for the third consecutive month, a trend that is typical as the summer months approach. By comparison, time spent watching TV declined 2.1% over the same period in 2022.

The cable category exhibited the smallest dip in viewing across all categories in The Gauge this month, decreasing 0.6% vs. March, and was able to gain 0.4 share points to account for 31.5% of total TV viewing in April. Cable news viewing increased 4.3% from March to April and accounted for the largest portion of cable viewing (19%). Year-over-year, time spent watching cable content was down 12.0% in April 2023, and the category has lost 5.3 share points.

At 23.1% share of total TV, broadcast viewing was down 2.7% in April and the category lost 0.2 share points on the month. The completion of the NCAA basketball tournament, and The Masters golf tournament, were the most-watched broadcast programs in April, but broadcast sports viewing overall dipped 17.1% vs. March to account for 9.6% of the category. The general drama genre increased 2.1% in April, driven by titles like NCIS, Blue Bloods and Chicago Fire. From a year-over-year perspective, broadcast viewership was down 3.7%, and the category has lost 1.6 share points.

Time spent with streaming content was down 2.1% in April compared with March, and the streaming category recorded a loss in share (-0.1 pts.) for the second consecutive month. However, streaming still concluded the month with the largest share of TV at 34.0%.

Offsetting April's dip in streaming conumption were the FAST (free ad-supported TV) offerings of Tubi TV and Pluto TV. Tubi TV usage was up 6% from March, and the platform added 0.1 share point to capture 1.1% of overall TV, and Pluto TV viewing increased 3.9% on the month to stay at 0.8% of TV. In March 2023, Pluto TV exhibited the largest increase in usage across all streaming platforms at 4.6%. Additional streaming highlights:

  • Time spent watching YouTube (excluding YouTube TV) on television increased 1.5% in April, which led to a gain of 0.3 share points and upheld YouTube as the most-watched streaming platform at 8.1% of overall TV usage.
  • Despite having the two most-watched streaming titles in April (The Night Agent and Love is Blind), Netflix was down 7% in usage vs. March and lost 0.4 share points to finish at 6.9% of total TV.
  • Disney+ was down 1.7% in usage but retained its 1.8% share of television on the strength of The Mandalorian, which was the third most-watched streaming title in April.

Viewing via MVPD (multichannel video programming distributor) and vMVPD (virtual multichannel video programming distributor) streaming apps represented 5.4%* of total television use in April, including 1.2% attributed to YouTube TV, and 0.4% to Hulu Live.

About The Gauge™
The Gauge™ is Nielsen's monthly snapshot of total broadcast, cable and streaming consumption that occurs through a television screen. The Gauge is underpinned by Nielsen's National TV measurement service and Nielsen Streaming Platform Ratings, the latter of which provides audience measurement data that details the amount of time consumers spend streaming and on which platforms. This broad look at platform usage provides complimentary insights to Nielsen Streaming Content Ratings, which details viewing to SVOD content at the title, program and episode levels. By leveraging Nielsen's geographically representative panel of real people and big data, and showcasing both micro and macro-level data sets, The Gauge provides the industry with a holistic view of the content that audiences are watching, as well as when and by whom.

*Beginning with The Gauge report from February 2023, viewing that occurs via MVPD and vMVPD streaming apps (e.g. YouTube TV, Hulu Live, DirecTV, Charter/Spectrum) no longer credits to the streaming category, as these apps primarily deliver live broadcast and cable programming. Viewing to broadcast and cable content has always been reflected in the corresponding broadcast or cable category, including viewing that occurs via MVPD/vMVPD apps.

The latest edition of The Gauge is always available at

About Nielsen
Nielsen shapes the world's media and content as a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics. Through our understanding of people and their behaviors across all channels and platforms, we empower our clients with independent and actionable intelligence so they can connect and engage with their audiences—now and into the future. Nielsen operates around the world in more than 55 countries. Learn more at and connect with us on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram).

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SOURCE Nielsen

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