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Traditional TV Begins Seasonal Revival, Streaming Feels Back-to-School Impact, according to Nielsen's August 2023 Report of The Gauge™

NEW YORK, Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Traditional TV viewership gained ground in August, as broadcast and cable each bounced back to combine for 50.6% of total TV usage, according to Nielsen's August 2023 report of The Gauge™, the media measurement company's monthly snapshot of total broadcast, cable and streaming consumption that occurs via television. Streaming fell to 38.3% of total TV usage, but remained the largest share of television for the month.

Broadcast viewership in August increased 1.6% compared with July, and its share of total usage was up 0.4 points to 20.4% of TV. This is the first gain recorded in the broadcast category since January 2023. Broadcast benefited from increased viewing in the "participation variety" (e.g., America's Got Talent on NBC) and "general variety" (e.g., Big Brother on CBS) genres, but drama and news were the most-watched broadcast genres in August, accounting for 16.9% and 24.8% of the category, respectively.

Cable recorded the largest monthly increase across all categories in The Gauge in August. Cable viewing was up 1.7% compared with July, and the category gained more than half a share point (+0.6 pts.). Increased cable usage was driven by a 21.6% lift in cable sports viewing, primarily due to NFL preseason events, as well as an 18% lift in cable news viewing, primarily due to the first presidential debate. About 85% of the overall increase in cable viewing was driven by viewers aged 65 and older.

On a year-over-year basis, broadcast viewing in August was down 5.5% (-1.7 pts.), and cable viewing was down 10.6% (-4.3 pts.).

Streaming, which disproportionately felt the back-to-school impact, fell 1.6% in August vs. July, and the category lost almost half a share point to finish at 38.3% of total TV usage. Approximately 80% of this decline points back to viewers aged 2-17—taking back the bump this group provided at the beginning of the summer.

Peacock recorded the largest increase among streamers in August, with usage rising 8.3% as a result of events like WWE SummerSlam, shared coverage of the NFL Hall of Fame Game, and the success of The Super Mario Brothers Movie. Riding on the continued strength of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and its new original series Special Ops: Lioness, Paramount+ was up 4.2% vs. July to finish at 1.1% of total TV usage (a high watermark for the platform).

Suits, which streams on both Netflix and Peacock, remained the top streaming title in August with 11.7 billion minutes viewed, followed by the Netflix original series The Lincoln Lawyer at 4.5B minutes. Despite the drop in streaming usage among viewers under 18, Disney+ had the third- and fourth-most-watched streaming titles in August with Bluey at 4.2B minutes and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 at 3.2B minutes.

Since the August 2022 report of The Gauge, streaming has gained 7.0 share points, growing from 31.3% to 38.3% of total TV usage.

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.

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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