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Simulmedia TV Marketplace Update For May 1, 2020

Matt Collins
Matt Collins
Published: May. 01, 2020

What happens when you combine pent-up demand for live sports and the ratings powerhouse that is the NFL?

You get an explosive increase in sports viewership. (Count me among the sports viewers who surged back into ESPN and the NFL Network to watch coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft. And yes, I was a little surprised that my Patriots did not draft a quarterback.)

Our data science team has assembled the latest linear TV viewership data to help advertisers, agencies, and networks understand how habits are changing during the pandemic. Published weekly and always available for free on Observable, the data tells a pretty clear picture:

  • Total linear TV has settled into a new and much higher overall level of viewership.
  • In spite of a sub-1% decline in viewership, week over week, linear TV still has produced in excess of 7.4 billion more impressions since early March.
  • TV’s value and power as an advertising vehicle hasn’t diminished. With reduced inventory pricing, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for brands to gain share of voice and market share. It’s also an opportunity for brands that are newer to TV to test the medium and get more bang for the buck.
  • A perfect storm of NFL dominance and pent-up demand for live sports saw coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft increase sports viewing by nearly 88%, week over week.

Go ahead and play with our network drop-down menu on Observable to see what changed, week over week. I highly recommend the ESPN and NFL Network views, which show how viewership ticked up just as Round 1 of the 2020 draft kicked off.

We also still have our analysis on how impressions are impacting program ratings.

Thanks for reading. If there’s more you’d like to see, drop me a line at mcollins@simulmedia.com.

Stay safe and be well.