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Television Ad Impressions and Other Stats From the 2018-2019 Season

September 12th, 2019   ||    by Callie Wheeler

Stats on television ad impressions and more for the 2018-2019 TV season are in. And, in just a short time we’ll be gearing up for the 2019-2020 season. There’s no better time for advertisers to review, and learn from, this latest season of TV.

Ratings Winners (and Losers)

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, live TV is a real clutch move for advertisers. The season was led by NBC’s Sunday Night Football and Fox’s Thursday Night Football, proving yet again live events like football games draw consistent crowds. The top five rounded out with This is Us, The Big Bang Theory, and The Masked Singer, according to TVLine.

A look at the season’s losers reveals some interesting patterns: the CW is home to many of the lowest-performing renewed programs, and some familiar faces, like Fresh Off the Boat and Agents of SHIELD, are not faring well despite being renewed for the upcoming season.

Television Ad Impressions Find Allies in Live TV

Thanks to programs like The Bachelor and Sunday Night Football, most ad impressions were delivered to live audiences. AdAge reported news coverage, can’t-miss reality TV, and live sporting events are advertisers’ ticket to delivering messages to audiences in real-time and avoiding the challenges of time-shifted viewing.

The worst way to reach viewers with ad impressions, however, is via scripted comedies.

Programming Trends to Watch

Whether you love them or hate them, reboots aren’t going away. From new Veronica Mars on Hulu this summer to a rumored Northern Exposure revival in the works at CBS and, as reported by Deadline, an already scheduled Tiffany Haddish-hosted Kids Say the Darndest Things, networks and streaming services don’t have reboot fatigue yet.

As this age of “Peak TV” continues, we’ll likely see more big-name stars taking on the small screen, as Julia Roberts and Chris Pine did in 2018.

Takeaways for Advertisers

The 2018-2019 season offers a few valuable takeaways for advertisers as they consider investments in the upcoming season:

  1. Live TV continues to provide advertisers an opportunity to reach engaged audiences. The numbers for television ad impressions alone illustrate the power of must-see reality TV and live sports.
  2. Just because a program is renewed, doesn’t mean it’s a good investment.
  3. While networks may not be tired of reboots yet, viewers’ opinions vary. Some reboots, like The Conners, have fared well, while others, like Murphy Brown, have failed.

These takeaways are proven out through simple, well-known advice: do your homework. Before jumping on a trend like reboots, or blindly accepting a renewal signifies good numbers, make sure the data checks out and the investment is the right one for your intended audience.

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