Viewers have watched over 166 billion minutes of CBS programming through the first seven weeks of the 2021-2022 broadcast season, according to Nielsen total day most current data.
That number covers all dayparts, with approximately 59 billion of those minutes coming from CBS primetime entertainment programming. CBS sports programming, namely the NFL on CBS, accounts for 45 billion. News content brought in 26 billion, with “60 Minutes” representing 4 billion. Late-night mainstay “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” has been viewed for 4.8 billion minutes this season thus far.
Per the Nielsen data, that makes CBS the most watched broadcaster of the season thus far. NBC is second with approximately 130 billion minutes. Fox follows in third place with approximately 108 billion. ABC is fourth with approximately 98.5 billion.
“While ‘time spent’ has mainly been a streamers’ metric, it actually demonstrates the continuing strength and scale of broadcast television, and CBS in particular,” said George Cheeks, president and CEO of CBS and chief content officer for news and sports at Paramount Plus. “Additionally, all this content is available on Paramount Plus too, both live and on demand.”
Among the new crop of CBS shows to debut in primetime this season, “NCIS: Hawaii” is the leader with 3.5 billion minutes. “FBI: International” is next with 3.1 billion, with “CSI: Vegas” bringing in 2.2 billion. The hit comedy series “Ghosts” has 1.5 billion minutes viewed, but it should be noted “Ghosts” is a half-hour show whereas all the others are hour long dramas.
On the daytime side, “The Price Is Right” has been viewed for 8.6 billion minutes, while “The Young and the Restless” has been viewed for 7.8 billion minutes. CBS also pointed out that the “NCIS” franchise as a whole has been watched for over 3.8 trillion minutes across all platforms since the mothership show debuted in 2003.
“No matter how you analyze the numbers – time spent, live +7, live +3 or live – CBS’ primetime schedule and our highly successful new series are resonating loudly with viewers,” said Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Entertainment.
While Nielsen numbers have long been the industry standard for measuring television viewing, broadcasters have begun pushing for alternative metrics in recent months. Back in September, Variety reported that ViacomCBS was teaming with data company VideoAmp to track viewership in the digital and streaming age.