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.

TV viewing stayed strong for around 6 weeks. In the period that followed various factors led to a drop in the time spent viewing; the lack of live sport content meant viewing to the sports channels took a significant hit, the appetite for constant news updates began to wane with the reach of the news stations returning to pre-lock down levels. On top of this, many shows came to the end of their Winter/Spring season and the lull in summertime programming took hold.

On August 1st NHL coverage returned helping to lift the average viewing hours for Canadians by over an hour compared to the previous week. Viewing levels continued to increase as the new TV premieres launched in September. TV viewing was again boosted in November thanks to the US election coverage with Canadians watching an average of 2 hours more TV that week than the week prior. 

A few other points to note:

  • 25% of Canadians in English Canada viewed CBC News Network during the week of the US elections and 41% watched CNN.
  • The percentage of live TV viewing to Canadian conventional stations peaked at 90% during the last week of July. It declined to a level of 81% over the next few months but then began climbing again at the end of November to reach 88% in the final week of December.
  • Weekly reach to TSN in Anglo Canada peaked at 32.8% for all Ind2+ in the final week of the year thanks to the coverage of the World Junior Hockey Championship.
  • The top viewed program over the year since the beginning of the pandemic was the Survivor finale with an average of 2.4 Canadians watching.

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


Click to access our recent webinar on TV viewing & advertising during COVID-19


Other blog posts you may enjoy:

TV viewing trends in Canada

Impact of COVID-19 on consumer behaviour in Canada

Posted by Jo Loup

Talk to us today to learn how we can help you turn data into action.

Speak to an expert