Television Keeps its Grip on US Viewers

25 September 2006

NEW YORK: US viewers are still in love with television, despite the charms of MP3 players, cellphones and other new media platforms vying for their attention.

A study by Nielsen Media Research shows an increase in TV viewing time, reaching a record high during the 2005/2006 season when the total average time a household watched TV was 8 hours and 14 minutes per day.

This three minute increase from the previous season was the same as the increase to 4 hours and 35 minutes per day watched by individual viewers. Primetime TV watching was an average 1 hour and 54 minutes per night last season, up one minute from the 2004/2005 period.

Among young viewers the data show that 12 to 17 year olds viewed 3% more daytime TV, led by teenage girls who increased their viewing time by 6%. Younger children, aged two to 11, watched 4% more television during the 2005/2006 season.

Children and teenage girls pushed up the figures among African American and Hispanic viewers, by 4% and 3% respectively.

Comments Patricia McDonough, senior vp of planning policy and analysis at Nielsen: "These results demonstrate that television still holds its position as the most popular entertainment platform. Internet television and video on personal devices seem not to be making an impact on traditional television viewing."

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