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Ad-Supported Cable Viewing Dips

19 Dec, 2012 By: Doug McPherson

ATLANTA – TV viewing remains at high levels, except for one part: ad-supported cable – it’s weakening, according to Turner Broadcasting’s Turner Research. Ad-supported cable viewing declined slightly to 17.3 hours per week, from 17.5 hours per week in 2011. The four broadcast network average in 2012 was 7.7 hours per week, also down a bit from the 7.8-hour level in 2011. In 2008, network viewing was 8.5 hours per week.

Although ad-supported cable lost ground for the year overall, it did gain in the fourth quarter – up to 17.6 hours a week from a 17.2 level in 4Q 2011 and 4Q 2010.

In 2012, the average total hours of viewing per person per week so far is 34.0 hours, according to Nielsen’s live-plus-seven-days of time-shifted data – about the same as 2011, which was 34.1 hours. In 2008 – the last time the Summer Olympics aired and a U.S. presidential campaign was underway – consumers watched TV 33.5 hours per week.

During 2012, live TV viewing dropped by nearly a half-hour per week to 31.3 hours from 31.7 hours in 2011. Time-shifted viewing is at 2.7 hours a week up from 2.5 hours in 2011 – and almost double that of 2008, when it was 1.5 hours per week. Total TV viewing during the fourth quarter grew by almost a half-hour to 35.1 hours a week, up from 34.7 hours in 2011.

During the fourth quarter of 2012 so far, the four broadcast networks garnered 8.5 hours of viewing per week, down from 8.7 hours in 2011 and 2010. Other TV viewing grew to 9.0 hours a week from 8.8 hours a week.

Other viewing – which includes Spanish-language broadcast networks, independent networks, and premium pay channels – grew to 9.0 hours per week, up from 8.8 hours in 2011 and 2010.

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