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2019 Smart TV Trends: Sports, News and ‘Friends’ Rule for Live Viewing

According to Inscape, the TV data company with glass-level insights from millions of smart TVs, much of the 43 trillion seconds of TV viewing they measured in 2019 came from sports and news-related content. 

The top program, by number of seconds watched, was NFL football, accounting for 5.1% of all TV viewing, followed by college football (2.5%) and SportsCenter (1.8%). The top ten most-watched programs of the year made up about 17% of all viewing. 

Although sports is king for live TV, when it comes to time-shifted or on demand viewing, the top ten lists change a bit. Live PD was the most-watched program for DVR and VOD viewing, while Grey’s Anatomy was No. 1 for OTT. Friends was the only non-sports, non-news program to make the top ten list of live-viewed shows. Deadline’s Dade Hayes commented, “That live appeal across networks like TBS is an interesting irony given the show’s on-demand streaming popularity on Netflix. The show just left Netflix on New Year’s Day and will reappear in May on HBO Max after WarnerMedia locked up rights in a $450 million deal.”

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