TV Content Trends of 2023

What did you watch in 2023?  What was your favorite show or most memorable TV event?  Does it line up with the most popular shows and the ones that garnered the most eyeballs?  Check out below to find out!

STREAMING

As we say in this business, content is king.  Viewers are hungry for new content and are ready to follow linear and streaming channels to get it.  On average, the typical adult spends 5 hours each day with TV content.  Many times, content becomes a trend and is talked about on social media and conversations which grows viewership even more.  For example, the show Suits, had a 12 week run as the No. 1 streaming title on Netflix and Peacock.  The show first ran on cable between 2011 and 2019.  During its 12 week run at the top, audiences watched more than 36.8 billion minutes of the show.

According to Nielsen streaming content ratings, below are the top streaming titles of originals of 2023 all of which were from Netflix:

  • Outer Banks
  • The Night Agent
  • Ginny & Georgia
  • Virgin River
  • Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

BROADCAST

When looking at broadcast channels, can you guess what was the most watched single telecast??  Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade attracted more than twice the audience of the average viewership for NCIS, the year’s most watched broadcast series.

Top Broadcast Programs of 2023 Single Telecast (Source: Nielsen Nation TV Panel; Live +7)

  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
  • The Oscars
  • Next Level Chef
  • Grammy Awards
  • 60 Minutes
  • Fire Country
  • NICS: Hawaii
  • Accused

CABLE

The top cable channels single telecast went to the Republican Presidential debate on Aug 23, 2023, running on Fox News Channel.  Cable will continue to see a heavy push to the news channels in 2024 as we approach the election.  The top series for cable went to the Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart.

SPORTS

Sports is a very sought after audience because of the engagement and loyalty around it.  Teams and leagues are finding ways to keep their content relevant and exciting.  The MLB introduced a pitch clock in 2023 which shortened the average MLB Game by 24 minutes.  The Olympics announced four new sports for the 2024 summer games.  And of course, the romance between Taylor and Travis has amplified the NFL profile and audience.

Most watched sports leagues by average viewership per game (P2+): (source: Nielsen National TV Panel)

  • NFL – 9.2 million
  • NBA – 711K
  • NHL – 398K
  • MLB – 378K
  • MLS – 133K

Monday night football attracted a much larger audience this year on ABC than the traditional primetime programming did a year earlier.  It helped to fill the gap of content missing due to the writer’s strike.

Television stays a mainstay with audiences and viewer engagement is critical for the creators and publishers.  In 2023, the writers’ strike had an impact on new content which will push a lot of exciting new shows into 2024.  What will be your next favorite new show or must see series?  Check back next year to see how it lines up in the rankings.

This blog was written by Executive Vice President, Amy Ward

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