Mid-Year Viewership Report: ESPN, HGTV, USA, TBS and TNT

With the first half of 2019 officially over, we partnered with Inscape, the TV data company with glass-level insights from a panel of more than 11 million smart TVs, to take examine topline trends for five of the biggest cable networks: ESPN, HGTV, USA Network, TBS and TNT. The data below covers Jan. 1 through June 30. We were particularly interested in the overlap between the viewers of these nets, and where, regionally speaking, their core audiences live.

Key Insights

There were high rates of viewership crossover between TBS and TNT, which makes sense given that those were two of the biggest networks for the 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament. 

With some exceptions, viewership hot spots trended towards the Southeast, East Coast and Midwest

Despite airing much of the 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament, syndicated shows were more popular with TBS-viewing households. 

Viewership Crossover*

At the high end of crossover rates: 72% of TBS viewers also tuned into TNT

71% of USA viewers tuned into TNT and 69% to TBS

71% of ESPN viewers tuned into TNT, but only 64% tuned into TBS

At the low end: only 45% of both ESPN and TNT viewers had watched HGTV; only 47% of TBS fans watched HGTV

Crossover Report Inscape

Viewer Location

TBS viewership skews toward the eastern half of the country.

The Northeast and Southeast United States tuned into USA Network more heavily than other locations. 

Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi tuned in heavily to ESPN. 

For HGTV, viewership DMA hotspots included Panama City, FL; Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC; Wilmington, NC; Presque Isle, ME; and Traverse City-Cadillac, MI. 

One of TNT’s key DMAs was Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC.

Inscape Halfyear Dmas

What These Viewers Were Watching the Most

ESPN: SportsCenter, College Basketball, NBA Basketball, Pardon the Interruption and First Take 

HGTV: House HuntersFixer UpperLove It or List ItMy Lottery Dream Home and Property Brothers

USA Network: HouseLaw & Order: Special Victims UnitModern FamilyNCIS and Chicago P.D. (all in syndication)

TBS: FriendsThe Big Bang TheoryFamily GuyThe King of Queens and American Dad (all in syndication)

TNT: NBA Basketball, SupernaturalCharmedNCIS: New Orleansand Bones

*A note about methodology: You have to do more than just flip past a station with your remote to count as a “crossover viewer” in Inscape’s system. For the data above, the minimum viewing threshold is 10 minutes.