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Consumers give thanks for more viewing time in November, according to The Gauge



Consumers give thanks for more viewing time in November, according to The Gauge

Amid the many dynamics affecting TV usage, such as program releases, sports seasons and even the weather, few have the same effect as one of the most basic: time off. According to The Gauge, Nielsen’s total TV and streaming snapshot, the Thanksgiving holiday and time away from our daily routines inspired consumers to spend 5% more time with TV each week in November.

Despite the overall increase in total TV usage during November, the rising tide did not lift all ships evenly. Notably, the time away from school gave students the opportunity to spend more time playing video games (included in the “other” category, which gained a share point) and watching content on Disney+.

In terms total TV usage, there were three primary changes in November:

  • Broadcast TV lost a share point, driven by dips in general drama (-12%) and sitcom (-7%) viewing.
  • Sports viewing remained strong, with viewing up 7%—even without the World Series. 
  • The seasonal appetite for feature films drove a 12% increase in that category. The evening animation category was a big mover this month, driven by two perennial overperformers: The Grinch and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.

Among the streamers, Disney+ was the only platform where viewership drove a reported change, as the nearly 20% increase in viewing time helped the platform recapture a percentage point of total viewing. Two primary factors drove the increase: the additional availability of the platform’s key audience (kids) and the Disney+ Day release of Shang Chi and Jungle Cruise. Separately, Amazon Prime Video’s total share remained flat at 2%, but the platform did see an 8% increase in total minutes viewed compared with October.

Take me to the methodology details below.

Watch the video to hear Brian Fuhrer, SVP, Product Strategy at Nielsen provide a behind the scenes look at some of the viewing changes underpinning The Gauge.


The Gauge provides a monthly macroanalysis of how consumers are accessing content across key television delivery platforms, including Broadcast, Streaming, Cable and Other sources. It also includes a breakdown of the major, individual streaming distributors. The chart itself shows the share by category and of total television usage by individual streaming distributors.

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