The conclusion of the NFL season led to an expected decline in TV usage, especially in broadcast, for the month of February. Despite the typical seasonal dip in viewing, New Amsterdam and The Last Of Us helped streaming stay strong.
According to Nielsen’s monthly report The Gauge, average TV viewership was down 5.1% overall, led by a 9.2% decrease in broadcast viewing. Sports broadcast viewing bore the brunt of that, taking a 65% hit month-over-month.
Cable was down 5.7%, while streaming weathered the storm with only a 1% decline. The overall decline from January to February is fairly typical, and it stayed in line with last year’s 5.7% decline observed over the same time period.
While streaming usage was down overall, it actually increased its share of total TV usage, making up 34.3% of all viewing for the month. That’s a record-high for the digital format, which Nielsen says was driven by the popularity of shows including New Amsterdam and The Last Of Us.
New Amsterdam was the most viewed streaming program for the month, bringing in 4.6B viewing minutes across Netflix and Peacock. Seasons 3 and 4 began streaming on Netflix at the beginning of February, so it makes sense that viewers would be catching up on what they missed.
HBO‘s The Last Of Us was the second most viewed program for the month with 4.4B minutes of viewing on HBO Max. This is fairly impressive, considering it doesn’t account for any viewing on HBO’s linear channel. According to HBO, the first six episodes are averaging more than 30M viewers.
Meanwhile, while Netflix still dominates the other streaming services in terms of its total share of streaming usage, viewing on the platform was actually down by 6.7% in February. That’s despite the debut of the first five episodes of You
See more in the graphic below.