The trade group for local broadcast television in America, TVB (, released this statement today in response to Netflix’s recent audience announcement for “Basic with Ads.”

Netflix states that an estimated 600,000 “monthly active users” watch their ad-supported tier, “basic with ads.” It’s important to note that this statistic only includes subscribers, not viewers, and that local linear TV viewing audiences outnumber Netflix ad-supported users.

“Netflix has disclosed that the projected number of “monthly active users” for its ad-supported tier, “Basic with Ads,” is 600,000. Steve Lanzano, President and CEO of TVB, stated, “It’s important to note that this metric pertains to subscribers rather than viewers, and Netflix ad-supported users pale in comparison to local linear TV viewing audiences.”

The advertising industry and brands find great significance in the comparison. Nielsen indicates that on an average November evening (11/9/22) in the New York DMA alone, local broadcast TV stations’ early news reached 1.6 million adults 18+ between 5 and 6:30 p.m. In the early going, the New York market’s news reach was almost three times larger than Netflix’s stated user base for its ad-supported tier.

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As of right now, Nielsen does not distinguish between viewers for streaming video on demand (SVOD) that include advertisements and those who do not. Reports only cover the entire universe. TVB compared the overall Netflix rating to the 600,000 stated Netflix ad subscription base in order to estimate the ad audiences for Netflix.

According to TVB estimations, the top three Netflix shows—The Crown, Love is Blind, and Enola Holmes 2—delivered 5,040, 4,440, and 1,860 adult 18+ ad viewers on the same night in November (11/9/22), respectively. TVB also observed the following observations while assessing the results:

New York’s (DMA Rank 1) local newscasts from 5 to 6:30 p.m. consistently outperformed Netflix’s top three shows in terms of viewership with advertisements: The Crown (5,040), Love is Blind (4,440), and Enola Holmes 2 (1,860).

READ MORE: Netflix Reports That 15 Million People Use Its Ad-Tier Service

For the same day and time slot, the following New York evening news outlets received impressions from adults 18 and older: WABC (915,191), WCBS (462,339), WNBC (282,280), WNYW (103,380), and WPIX (37,611).

Local news on NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliates from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Grand Rapids, Michigan (DMA 42) would outperform the top three Netflix shows with advertisements, which were The Crown (5,040), Love is Blind (4,440), and Enola Holmes 2 (1,860).
For the same day and time slot, Grand Rapids evening news adults 18+ impressions were as follows: WOOD (115,734), WWMT (100,835), and WXMI (24,546).


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