We create our hot topic audience report at the end of every TV season so that our clients have quick and easy access to the TV viewing trends in Canada.

The seasonality of TV viewing plays a critical role in programming and media planning and buying.  In particular, fall remains a key period for the TV industry, as this is when many new and returning shows start. How well the shows perform during this time period determines whether they’ll return in the spring.

Viewing figures for 2020 were obviously impacted extensively by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the lockdown period we saw viewing increase, viewing to news stations grew significantly and by contrast viewing to sports stations fell with the lack of live content. As the summer progressed viewing dipped as the appetite for news decreased and the spring season shows came to an end. However once live sport returned in August and the TV series' premieres started again in the fall, we saw the viewing levels begin to rise.

Our report covers:

  1. Average time spent watching TV by season.
  2. Share of viewing trends by station groups (ie conventional vs specialty TV).
  3. Top performing TV stations including AMA (000s) and share of viewing.
  4. Top performing TV programs including ratings and percentage of live viewing.

Clients with a TV PPM subscription can access this report either through the Lens platform or from the homepage of InfoSys+TV PPM.

Highlights for the fall 2020 TV season include:

  • Canadians watched just over an hour more TV on average per week compared to the Summer season
  • Average hours of TV viewed per week were down 4.5% compared to last Fall across total Canada , however only down 2.5% in Quebec Franco
  • Share of viewing to Canadian Conventional stations for Ind2+ is consistent with last fall, with the exception of Vancouver and Montreal Franco where it’s 2 and 4 points higher, respectively.
  • Share of viewing to US specialty stations amongst Ind2+ in Canada was 37% higher than last Fall driven by growth in viewing to CNN whose average audience more than doubled across these periods.
  • TSN regains the top spot for Canadian Specialty stations amongst Adults aged 25-54 yet in Quebec Franco LCN retains top position in this group as it has done throughout 2020.
  • The Good Doctor is the top viewed show amongst Ind2+ in Anglo Canada (as it has been for 3 of the past 4 seasons). In Franco Canada District 31 returns to the top spot where it was last Fall.


This report is created using ConexAPI. This tool accesses Numeris TV PPM data directly and feeds it seamlessly into data visualization tools, such as Excel or Microsoft PowerBI. This allows you to spend far less time creating reports and more time finding the insights you need and acting on them.

Fall 2020 Top 10

Other blog posts that may be of interest:

TV advertising during COVID-19

Impact of COVID-19 on TV tuning


Posted by Jo Loup

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