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Netflix and CBS were the top two choices for original programming in the first quarter of 2023.
That’s according to Nielsen data for the first three months of the year, which shows the two outlets well ahead of other broadcasters and streaming outlets in terms of time spent watching first-run content. The results are similar to what they were in the fall of 2022, with Netflix and CBS also placing first and second in that study. (Both sets of data, incidentally, were commissioned by CBS.)
For the first quarter, Netflix had just above 337 billion minutes of viewing time for its original programming. CBS was not far behind with 281.66 billion minutes across all dayparts. The other big four broadcast networks came in behind those two but well ahead of other streamers’ originals: NBC had 190.89 billion minutes of watch time, ABC 181.66 billion and Fox 129.22 billion.
Viewers watched 29.95 billion minutes of original content on Amazon’s Prime Video, 22.2 billion minutes on Disney+, 15.79 billion minutes on Hulu and 8.27 billion minutes on HBO Max.
“CBS’ strong first quarter viewership demonstrates the enduring popularity of our programming across all genres and dayparts,” says Radha Subramanyam, CBS chief research and analytics officer. “Outperforming broadcast and streaming competitors, the network continues to be a leading multi-platform brand while aggregating audiences of significant scale.”
Network totals are taken from Nielsen’s “most current” data, including 35-day windows when available, for original programming across all dayparts (but not local or syndicated shows). It doesn’t include multi-platform viewing for the broadcast nets, since CBS doesn’t have access to its competitors’ internal streaming data.
For streamers, the totals include only programming coded as original by Nielsen, leaving out library titles on those services. HBO’s The Last of Us, for instance, had more than 9 billion minutes of viewing time on HBO Max in the quarter — but it’s considered an acquired show for Max since it was made for the cable channel and therefore not part of the 8.27 billion minutes cited by CBS.
Live sports viewing accounted for more 77 billion minutes on CBS, 27 percent of the network’s quarterly total. The six shows in the FBI and NCIS franchises combined for almost 30 billion minutes, and daytime staple The Price Is Right (which aired several dozen episodes in the quarter) had 17.7 billion minutes of viewing.
Among Netflix’s top titles for the quarter, based on time spent in Nielsen’s streaming top 10, are Ginny & Georgia (10.45 billion minutes), Outer Banks (7.6 billion) and You (7.02 billion). The latter two don’t include totals for March 20-26; those rankings will be released later in the week.
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