TV Still Appeals to US Youngsters

12 February 2007

NEW YORK: Despite scare stories that US youngsters are being lured from television by the many and varied delights of the worldwide web, a new report shows that viewing remains constant among older children.

Media services firm Magna Global, using data from Nielsen Media Research, says average 24-hour TV viewing by tweens aged nine to 14 and teens aged between 12 and 17 was stable in 2006 compared with the previous year.

Comments the report's author Lisa Quan: "Even with the newest videogames and online disruptions, younger viewers are still watching television just as they always have been."

During Q4 2006, kids between aged 2-17 watched more TV in nearly every daypart. Both boys and girls between 2-11 watched more average minutes of TV per week than the year before, and time spent viewing kids' programming by the 2-11 and 6-11 age groups reached 8.75 hours, the highest level ever.

Live-action shows, such as those on the Disney channels made a large contribution to the increase, the report said.

But the news was not as good for broadcast networks where average viewing by children aged 2-11 was down by 15 minutes per week.

Figures for advertising-supported cable TV revealed the 2-11 age group watched 8.6 hours of kids' programs per week and 5.68 hours of non-kids' shows per week in Q4 2006, up from 8.3 and 5.4 hours respectively in 2005.

  • Meantime, NMR is forecasting a 47% rise in the number of TV-owning households in the US - up from 111.4 million to 163.7m - according to its annual report Projected Estimates of TV Households and Persons 2008 to 2050.

    The study also highlights the expected increases in the number of TV-owning households among different ethnic communities: African-American from 1.3m to 2.2m; Hispanic from 1.1m to 3.1m; Asian from 0.4m to 1.1m.

    Overall the data provider expects the number of people living in households with TVs will grow 40% (from 283.5m to 396.3m). For African-Americans the increase will be 59%, for Hispanics 136% and for Asians 155%.

    Data sourced from Adweek (USA) and ; additional content by WARC staff