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Turner: Viewers Watching More TV In 2010

7/11/2010 8:02 PM Eastern

The obituary for traditional television viewing is far from being written as the number of hours viewers watched the boob tube increased during the first half of 2010.
Despite increased viewing of video content on other platforms such as the Internet and mobile phones, the average hours of viewing per person per week among all viewers topped out at 34.3 hours from Dec. 28, 2009 to June 13, 2010 -- slightly above the 34.1 hours during the same period in 2009 and nearly two hours more than the 32.6 hours in 2006, according to Turner Research analysis of Nielsen data for the second quarter of 2010.
Viewing among ad-supported networks was also up during the second quarter to an average of 17 hours, slightly above last year's 16.9 hours. On the flip side, viewing among the four broadcast networks was down to 8.4 hours a week, compared to 8.5 hours in 2009 and 9.9 hours in 2006.
While viewership has increased, so has the penetration of DVRs into the home. DVR's are now in 36% of all households, nearly three times the DVR penetration in 2006, according to Turner. Among total viewers, 38.7% of all watchers have access to a DVR, up from only 4.2% in 2006.
Meanwhile, more viewers tuned into USA Network in prime time during the second quarter, the "character's Welcome" network's second straight quarter triumph in 2010, according to an Disney-ABC Television analysis of Nielsen data.
USA rode the return of its top scripted series Royal Pains and Burn Notice to finish tops among all basic cable networks in prime time during the period of March 29 to June 27, averaging a flat 3.2 million viewers compared to the same period in 2009. TNT finished a distant second, averaging 2.44 million viewers - down 8%, barely edging out Disney Channel, which drew 2.42 million viewers, up 1% from second quarter 2009.
Fox News dropped 10% to 1.9 million viewers to settle into fourth place, followed by ESPN, which posted a 2% increase, averaging 1.7 million viewers for the period.
Rounding out the top 10 were Nick At Nite (1.7 million, up 6%); History (1.6 million, up 40%); TBS (1.5 million, down 3%); A&E (1.3 million, up 4%) and Discovery Channel (1.3 million, down 4%).
Kids-targeted Nickelodeon made it 61 consecutive quarters as the most watched cable network on a 24-hour basis, averaging 2.2 million viewers, up 3% over second quarter 2009. Disney Channel finished second with 1.6 million viewers, followed by Nick at Nite (1.5 million viewers), USA (1.4 million) and TNT (1.3 million).
Quarter Winners and Losers
Networks posting double-digit gains for the quarter include Cartoon Network (1.3 million, up 12%); Bravo (820,000, 11%); TV Land (812,000, 10%); Nick Jr. (759,000, 23%); Animal Planet (634,000, 10%); E! Entertainment (624,000, 13%); Oxygen (431,000, 12%); Investigation Discovery (306,000, 59%); Nicktoons (306,000, up 23%); Science Channel (240,000 up 30%), TeenNick (215,000, 38%); TV One (202,000, 12%); BIO Channel (170,000, 18%); G4 (167,000, 22%); BBC America (154,0000, 35%); Military Channel (152,000, 13%); Galavision (147,000, 19%); RFD-TV (136,000, 37%), DIY Network (121,000, 7%); NFL Network (92,000, 51%); Mun2 (56,000, 33%); and Fox Soccer Channel (38,000, 27%).
Networks struggling in prime time during the quarter include FX (1.1 million, down 11%), Spike TV (855,000, 16%); Hallmark Channel (730,000, 23%); CNN (596,000 31%); VH1 (527,000, 32%); HLN (490,000, 12%); National Geographic Channel (380,000, 10%): Country Music Television (369,000, 12%); SoapNet (311,000, 16%); Speed (243,000, 19%); and Golf Channel (136,000, 19%); Great American Country (71,000, 10%); and VH1 Classic (46,000 23%).

June