We Are Watching More TV — Both Old and New

Nielsen, whose efforts to measure television audiences are ambiguous at best, says that we are watching more old television, prompting some childish headlines. According to the study, in the latest quarter:

  • Americans viewers watched more than 142 hours a month of old TV – 5 hours more than last year.
  • Americans are watching online video for 2 hours and 31 minutes per month.
  • The number of homes with DVRs has grown to 27 percent and the time spent watching time-shifted video was about 6 hours and 32 minutes a month.

These numbers are an anomaly — 2008 was an election year, with the citizenry more actively involved in the process than any other election in recent memory. Millions were turning to television — broadcast, cable and the Internet — to keep up with political developments. And just like the viewing numbers, television revenues have been propped up by political ad spend. Next year, oldteevee companies are in for rocky times.

As a counterpoint to the Nielsen study, Liz over on NewTeeVee has collated together stats from some recent studies that show online video is exploding. Among them:

  • Online video viewing is up 35.4 percent year-over-year
  • 12 percent of U.S. teens and 11 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds watch online TV at least once a week
  • 88 percent of U.S. Internet users are forecast to watch video online by 2012