Listen Live
Tv set floating in a water. Concept of crisis of television broadcasting.

Source: Bet_Noire / Getty

For the first time in history, viewing of linear television fell below 50% in July as streaming viewing hit a new record according to Nielsen’s latest monthly report.

Total broadcast viewing last month finished at 20% of TV, a new low for the category. On a year-over-year basis, broadcast usage was down 5.4%. Cable viewing slipped to 29.6% of viewing for July, with a year-over-year drop of 12.5%. The top-viewed cable programs of the month were the Home Run Derby and College World Series on ESPN, followed by Hallmark’s “When Calls the Heart.”

Meanwhile, streaming accounted for 38.7% of US viewership in July. The remaining 11.6%, which falls under the “Other” category and includes other device use like DVD playback and audio playback, brings the total of non-linear television viewing to 50.3 percent, putting it above traditional viewing for the first time.

The streaming services that dominated in viewership were YouTube and Netflix, with YouTube accounting for 9.2% of the streaming numbers and Netflix accounting for 8.5 percent.

If there is any hope for TV’s numbers to rise from the ashes, sports content might be what saves it.

According to Nielsen, sports on broadcast generated nearly 25 billion viewing minutes last month. Come September, we can expect broadcast sports viewing to more than triple as college football and the NFL kick off their 2023-2024 seasons this month.