With the first half of 2019 officially over, we partnered with Inscape, the TV data company with glass-level insights from a panel of more than 11 million smart TVs, to take examine topline trends for five of the biggest cable networks: ESPN, HGTV, USA Network, TBS and TNT. The data below covers Jan. 1 through June 30. We were particularly interested in the overlap between the viewers of these nets, and where, regionally speaking, their core audiences live.
- There were high rates of viewership crossover between TBS and TNT, which makes sense given that those were two of the biggest networks for the 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament.
- With some exceptions, viewership hot spots trended towards the Southeast, East Coast and Midwest
- Despite airing much of the 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament, syndicated shows were more popular with TBS-viewing households.
- At the high end of crossover rates: 72% of TBS viewers also tuned into TNT
- 71% of USA viewers tuned into TNT and 69% to TBS
- 71% of ESPN viewers tuned into TNT, but only 64% tuned into TBS
- At the low end: only 45% of both ESPN and TNT viewers had watched HGTV; only 47% of TBS fans watched HGTV
- TBS viewership skews toward the eastern half of the country.
- The Northeast and Southeast United States tuned into USA Network more heavily than other locations.
- Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi tuned in heavily to ESPN.
- For HGTV, viewership DMA hotspots included Panama City, FL; Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC; Wilmington, NC; Presque Isle, ME; and Traverse City-Cadillac, MI.
- One of TNT’s key DMAs was Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC.
What These Viewers Were Watching the Most
- ESPN: SportsCenter, College Basketball, NBA Basketball, Pardon the Interruption and First Take
- HGTV: House Hunters, Fixer Upper, Love It or List It, My Lottery Dream Home and Property Brothers
- USA Network: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Modern Family, NCIS and Chicago P.D. (all in syndication)
- TBS: Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Family Guy, The King of Queens and American Dad (all in syndication)
- TNT: NBA Basketball, Supernatural, Charmed, NCIS: New Orleans and Bones
*A note about methodology: You have to do more than just flip past a station with your remote to count as a “crossover viewer” in Inscape’s system. For the data above, the minimum viewing threshold is 10 minutes.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that House is one of the most-watched shows for USA Network. It has been removed from the list.