Cable TV makes surprise viewing share increase in April 2023 | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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The latest Gauge research from Nielsen for April 2023 has shown a expected decrease in total TV usage, as is typical when the weather starts to warm up, but it also showed a rather unexpected month of share gains for cable TV.
Nielsen Gauge report 18May2023
The drop in total usage was 1.9%, and an active news cycle contributed to a second month of share gains for cable, which picked up 0.4 share points to account for 31.5% of TV usage. The gain represents the first back-to-back increase for cable since the launch of the study in May 2021.

In addition, Nielsen said the strength of the news cycle helped cable remain largely stable from a usage perspective, as cable viewing was down just 0.6% from March.
News was the only cable genre that didn’t experience a dip in usage in April 2023 with viewing was up 4.3%, accounting for 19% of cable usage in the month. Former President Trump’s court appearance in New York on April 4 generated daily usage spikes of 93%, 44% and 39% on CNN, FOX News and MSNBC, respectively. Yet on a year-over-year perspective, cable content viewership was down 12%, representing 5.3 share points.

The gauge for April 2023 found broadcast usage dipped 2.7% in April, losing 0.2 share points to account for 23.1% of total TV use. The NCAA basketball tournament and The Masters golf tournament were the most-viewed broadcast programmes, but sports viewing did slide 17.1% in aggregate to account for just 9.6% of the category. Dramas attracted a 2.1% viewing increase, driven by titles like NCIS, Blue Bloods and Chicago Fire. On a year-over-year perspective, broadcast viewing was down 3.7%, or 1.6 share points.

In the streaming space, the competition is causing shifts in usage shares, while seasonality contributed to a 2.1% dip in viewing across the category. Netflix viewing, for example, dropped 7%, translating to a loss of 0.4 share point, despite having the top two programmes from a viewing perspective: The Night Agent and Love is Blind. Usage was found to have increased across the two newest free, ad-supported platforms, Tubi TV and Pluto TV for which usage grew 6% and 3.9% respectively.

YouTube, excluding YouTube TV, remained the most-used platform, with usage increasing 1.5% to help the platform capture 8.1% of TV usage. Disney+ viewership was down 1.7% in the month but the service’s The Mandalorian was the third-most streamed title in April. Viewership to “other streaming” resulted in an increase of 0.1 share points in April, with multiple platforms inching toward the 1% threshold to be reported individually.