Streaming Maintains Its Dominance, According to Nielsen Data

By Jessica Lerner 

TV viewing continued to increase in December 2022, building on the momentum from November, according to The Gauge, Nielsen’s monthly total TV viewing snapshot.

TV usage in December was up +0.3% from November, which means December was the second-highest month in overall TV consumption in 2022, only behind January.

Streaming once again dominated as the top category, accounting for 38.1% of all TV usage, only -0.1% less than in November.


Despite a slight decline in the percentage of people who watch streaming TV overall, more time was spent streaming in December than in November. HBO Max saw the biggest increase in usage (+18.1%) among the streaming providers, thanks to the release of The White Lotus’ second season as well as the success of Friends and The Big Bang Theory.

Viewing on broadcast and cable fell -3.7% and -2.4%, respectively, due to less-robust programming than in November and a post-election drop-off. Even with the popularity of the World Cup, televised sports viewing fell -12.3%, while drama viewing fell -20%.

The only genre to increase across broadcast was feature film viewing, which rose +27%. Similar gains were made on television, as a +4.9% increase in holiday movie viewing helped the genre snag 22.1% of the cable viewing share.

Additionally, NBCU’s Peacock made its debut in The Gauge this month, initiating coverage with a 1.0% share of TV and growth demonstrated across previous time periods. Peacock’s success in December coincides with the success of the Peacock Original The Best Man: The Final Chapters, which was released just before Christmas.