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iSpot 2022 TV Trends Report Reveals Programs that Provide Greatest Reach for the Dollar

Report includes top programs, networks, genres from 2022, plus where advertisers found most reach from dollars spent

BELLEVUE – Jan 10, 2023 – iSpot, the TV measurement company, released its 2022 TV advertising trends report, including insights on the top programs, networks and program genres by TV ad impressions, along with which shows provided the most reach for dollars spent by brands.

Top Networks of 2022

  • The top 20 networks delivered 85.73% of TV ad impressions during new-airing programming, with the big four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC) combining for 43.7%.
  • The top three cable news networks (Fox News, CNN, MSNBC) were 19.3% of 2022’s TV ad impressions.
  • Sports-focused cable networks like ESPN, Fox Sports 1, ESPN2 and MLB Network served 8.6%, not including sports impressions that buoyed other cable channels like TNT and USA Network.

Top Programs of 2022

  • The top 20 programs delivered 30.9% of new-airing TV ad impressions in 2022.
  • Six of the top 20 programs were live sports or sports-related, led by the NFL at 6.55% of TV ad impressions (SportsCenter, Fox & Friends, The Five being the exceptions).
  • News and news talk programs accounted for 11 of the top 20 shows on TV by ad impressions in 2022.
  • All but three of the top 20 programs by impressions appear on broadcast networks.

Greatest Reach For the Money

TV’s most-watched programs provide incredible reach for advertisers. But there’s also a significant price to pay for some of those tentpole TV events like live sports.

Focusing on both new and existing budget-conscious advertisers, iSpot identified programs providing the most reach for money spent. In 2022, cable news provided excellent value, with news talk programs like Morning Joe, The Five and Special Report With Bret Baier delivering more reach per dollar spent (relative to other top-100 programs). For brands preferring to avoid politics, syndicated programs like Hawaii Five-0, Frasier and Reba also delivered more reach for less.

Among iSpot’s other key findings around programs and networks:

Live Sports Lift Cable

Live sports boost to many networks in 2022 — but few more than USA Network, which climbed 10 spots year-over-year (by TV ad impressions), largely due to live Olympic action in February. TBS benefits from sports as well, vaulting into the top 20 by way of March Madness impressions (including a Final Four littered with blueblood teams). ESPN and ESPN2 also grew impressions with a raft of live games, but also significantly more ad minutes during its various studio programs.

SportsCenter Makes Moves

On that note: Highlight staple SportsCenter increased TV ad impressions 38% year-over-year, in large part via a 70% increase in ad minutes. Some news programs like ABC World News Tonight grew TV ad impressions on the strength of midterm elections, yet talk-focused programs were more likely to climb into the top 20. Daytime programming also had its highlights, as soap opera stalwarts like The Young and the Restless and General Hospital held firm for yet another year.

Soaps Bubble Up

Soap operas grew overall, from No. 9 to No. 7 by program genre TV ad impressions year-over-year. But those shows weren’t the only movers. Despite delivering a large share of TV ad impressions in 2021, genres like general news and pro football (almost exclusively the NFL) still found ramp to grow in 2022. The same was true for sports like pro basketball (NBA) and college basketball (both men’s and women’s), as well as documentaries — which could reveal an untapped opportunity for advertisers after climbing into the top 20 year-over-year.

For more of the iSpot 2022 TV Advertising Report, download the full report here.

iSpot.tv is the market leader in real-time cross-platform TV ad measurement and attribution. The company’s always-on platform measures the business impact and brand impact of TV advertising and offers fast, accurate and actionable information that empowers brands to justify and optimize TV and video investments.