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Impact of COVID-19 on TV viewing

Jo Loup Feb 24, 2022 1:15:00 PM
TV viewing during COVID

Unsurprisingly TV viewing in Canada has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  At the beginning of the initial lock down it grew for a number of reasons. A need for news updates on the pandemic along with increased availability to view with more people at home meant that average hours viewed per week increased by 3.5 hours compared to the annual average.

Since then, viewing has been affected by various factors. The lack of live sports content meant that sports viewing dropped significantly during spring 2020. The US election followed by the insurrection in Washington DC led to increased news content viewing in November 2020 and January 2021 for both Canadian & US channels. Viewing to the Olympics last summer helped bolster the usual drop in summer time TV viewing and various sports such as baseball, hockey and football have all contributed to increased viewing to the specialty sports stations during fall 2021.


TV viewing data highlights:

  • Overall viewing in 2021 peaked in January when monthly reach to CBC News Network and CTV News Channel was 29.3% and 26.9% respectively of all Ind2+ in Canada.
  • Share of viewing to Canadian conventional stations for all Ind2+ in Canada grew from 35.6% in fall 2020 to 37.2% in fall 2021
  • Average Ind2+ audience for Sportsnet National and TSN was 58% and 94% higher respectively this fall compared to fall 2020.
  • Total live viewing in Canada during 2021 peaked in July at 89.4%, coinciding with the Olympics coverage.
  • The prize for top rated show goes to Bye Bye 2021 achieving an impressive rating of 65 for all individuals in Quebec Franco.


TV viewing dashboard

Clients with TV PPM subscriptions can access the full dashboard, generated using Conex, either through Lens or the home page of InfoSys+TV PPM.



Click here to watch our recent webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on TV viewing and advertising.