Peacock and Paramount+ Dominate as Linear TV Viewership Surges in August

Linear TV viewership showed signs of revival in August, bouncing back from an all-time low in July. Combined viewership for broadcast and cable managed to reclaim 50.6% of total TV usage, with broadcast achieving its first gain since January, accounting for 20.4% of TV usage—a 1.4% increase month-over-month. Cable, on the other hand, experienced the most significant monthly growth across all categories, surging by 1.7%.

Variety programming like America’s Got Talent and Big Brother contributed to the resurgence of broadcast. However, drama and news genres dominated broadcast viewership in August. On the cable front, NFL preseason events and the first presidential debate played a pivotal role in its rebound.

Deadline reports that despite this short-term improvement, linear TV continues its downward trajectory on an annual basis, with a 5.5% year-over-year decline in broadcast viewing and a 10.6% drop in cable viewership for August.

Peacock and Paramount+ Dominate as Linear TV Viewership Surges in August

Streaming, meanwhile, experienced a minor decline, slipping to 38.3% of total TV usage but still maintaining its position as the dominant form of television consumption. Nielsen attributes this drop to students returning to school, with 80% of the decline attributed to viewers aged 2-17.

Notably, Suits continued its streaming reign in August, amassing a staggering 11.7 billion minutes of viewing across Netflix and Peacock. Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer secured the second spot with 4.5 billion minutes viewed. Disney+ claimed third and fourth places with Bluey and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Peacock emerged as the standout performer among streaming platforms, witnessing an 8.3% surge in usage. This impressive growth was fueled by events like WWE SummerSlam, shared coverage of the NFL Hall of Fame Game, and the release of The Super Mario Brothers Movie. Paramount+ also experienced success, with Special Ops: Lioness and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds driving a 4.2% increase in usage.

As the battle between linear TV and streaming continues, streaming services like Peacock and Paramount+ are making significant strides in the ever-evolving landscape of television consumption.

Joanne Wells

Joanne Wells is a media journalist for ScreenNearYou. She reports on the inside conversations in Hollywood. Also, she loves pizza!

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