TV viewing is on the rise, continuing to increase despite competition, according to Nielson Media Research, which found a three-minute rise in total average time a household watched TV from 2005 to 2006. At eight hours and 14 minutes a day, households are tuned in more than ever before. On an individual level, the average amount of TV watched also increased three minutes a day, marking another high.
Prime time saw modest boosts, gaining one minute over last year to one hour and 54 minutes of prime time viewed a night by household. The average individual reported watching one hour and 11 minutes.
Teens hanging in there
"These results demonstrate that TV still holds its position as the most popular entertainment platform," said Patricia McDonough, senior VP-planning policy and analysis at Nielsen Media Research, in a statement. "At this point, consumption of emerging forms of entertainment, including Internet TV and video on personal devices seem not to be making an impact on traditional TV viewing."
Teenagers, those assumed to be spending the most time with the web and iPods, have not abandoned TV just yet. As a whole the age set (12-17) has increased its TV viewing, up five minutes, or 3%, for the full day compared to the 2004 to 2005 TV year. Teenage girls provided the bulk of the gains with their total day viewing increasing 6%.
Children ages 2-11 also watched more TV. Viewing by children increased 3% during prime time, 5% during early morning and 6% during late night.
African-American and Hispanic total day viewing levels increased 4% and 3%, respectively, with significant increases among children and teenage girls. African-American viewing among children age 2-11 and teen girls ages 12-17 increased 10% and 9%, respectively, while viewing among Hispanic children and teenage girls increased 14% and 6%, respectively.
This year's sample was expanded to include 5,000 more households, up to 10,000. Digital video recording has also been included in Nielson's estimates. Gains from this year have not been as great has they have been in the past, with last year's results reporting a 10 minute increase in average household viewing per day.