TV viewing still up overall, but starting to taper in prime time

TV viewing is still going strong, but starting to taper in prime time, according to marketing and research association, thinktv.

With six weeks of “viewing during COVID” data now available, thinktv’s analysis shows some subtle changes in viewing patterns for the period from Mar. 16 – Apr. 26.

Television tuning is still significantly higher than pre-COVID, but is starting to see some audience fatigue. Overall viewing is up 11% on average (and up 20%, A25-54, when specialty sports is excluded) with the biggest increases in A25-54 viewing in daytime (+29%) and evening (+17% in the 6–7 p.m. block). However, prime time viewing is down 5%. When excluding sports networks, overall television consumption is still up 6%.

Viewership of Canadian conventional national newscasts is up 51%, A25-54, compared to the period from Feb. 10 – Mar. 15, while viewership of Canadian specialty news is up 149% for the same period. Specialty news ratings are still up 175%, A18-34.

Breaking the numbers down further, Canadian conventional TV consumption is up 7%, A18-34, including 23% during the day, but after the 6-7 p.m. block (+28%), audiences have dropped off by 10% in prime time. Late night, meantime, has picked up by 13%. Specialty TV viewing remains higher with A18-34 in most dayparts, most notably 35% daytime, but dropped 8% in prime time. Specialty TV daytime viewing is up 33% with A25-54, and down 4% in prime time.


For Franco Quebec, viewing increases are even higher. Weekly hours tuned are up 16%, A18-24, and 18% for A25-54. The biggest increase is with kids, ages 2 to 11, who have increased their viewing by 19% compared to the pre-COVID period.


Subscribe Now – Free!

Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 25 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.

The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Let’s get started right now.

* indicates required


Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

The Weekly Briefing - Subscribe Now – Free!

It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Events / Conferences