‘Young Sheldon,’ ‘Leave the World Behind’ Were the Most-Streamed Programs in December

“Young Sheldon” and “Leave the World Behind” were the top streamed titles in the month of December, according to Nielsen’s monthly snapshot of total broadcast, cable and streaming consumption, The Gauge.

The series accumulated 6.7 billion and 4.5 billion viewing minutes, respectively, between Nov. 27 and Dec. 31.

Overall, the streaming category made up 35.9% of total TV usage, up 1.2% from November. The monthly usage increase was led by the 18 to 24 demographic, whose usage was up 2.7%.

Netflix saw a 6% bump in viewership from November to December, growing its total share of TV usage to 7.7%. Meanwhile, time spent watching YouTube on TV fell 3.4% during the month for a total TV share of 8.5%. Tubi usage increased 6.6% during the month, though its share remained flat at 1.4%.

The Gauge/Nielsen
The Gauge/Nielsen

Elsewhere, cable climbed 1.3% during the month. However, it fell slightly to a total of 28.2% of TV usage. Cable sports viewing was up 8.4% versus November, led by both NCAA bowl games and NFL programming. The top telecast went to ESPN’s NFL matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys on December 30, which totaled over 11 million viewers. Feature film viewing nearly tripled that of sports, however, accounting for 21.4% of cable usage compared with 8.1% for sports.

After four consecutive months of growth, broadcast viewing fell 4.3% for the month, bringing the category to a 23.5% of TV usage. Decreased viewing was led by viewers 25 to 34 who watched 13% less broadcast programming than in November. Sports remained the most-watched broadcast genre, accounting for 28.5% of broadcast viewing, with NFL games accounting for 12 of the top 13 broadcast telecasts during the month. ABC’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” took the 13th spot.

The latest data comes as December was a robust month for TV usage, with five days recording over 100 billion TV viewing minutes, including the second-highest daily total (over 105 billion minutes) in 2023 occurring on December 31, behind Super Bowl Sunday on February 12.

While all but the broadcast category showed monthly increases in usage, the “other category” was the only to gain in share in December (+1.8 pts.), partly driven by increased video game console usage among younger demographics, with a total share of 12.5%.

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