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African-American TV viewers' program preferences differed significantly during 1995 from those of overall U.S. households. Teens ages 12 to 17, however, showed significant crossover in their viewing habits, according to new research from BBDO Worldwide, New York.

The agency used Nielsen Media Research data for its findings, and for the second time in five years, top 10 lists for African-American and total households shared ABC's "NFL Monday Night Football."

NBC's "Monday Night Movie," also ranked on both groups' top 20.


"New York Undercover" is now the No. 1 show in black households, followed by "Living Single." Among networks running shows in the top 20 according to African-American viewers, Fox leads with eight; ABC runs five; NBC runs four; CBS, one; and WB, two.

Among teens, 11 out of 20 programs appeared on both top 20 lists. Black teens composed 15.3% of the 21.5 million 12-to-17-year-olds in the U.S., according to 1995 Nielsen statistics; they account for 22% of the teen community in the top 20 markets for African-American populations in the U.S.


"A lot of marketers are using [the top 20 African-American] shows, but it's a double-edged sword," said Doug Alligood, VP-special markets, BBDO. "If you're doing it just to reach the black population, you may be inefficient."

"This indicates that the quality and quantity of available programs targeting different ethnic groups-and African-Americans in particular-are beginning to improve," said Gary Berman, president of Market Segment Resources & Consulting. "The battle to win the African-American consumer's dollar will not be won solely on the basis of media buys, however. There's also the relevance of the message."

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