Comcast Is Onto Something

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Nielsen’s recent cross-platform report confirmed some assumptions on who’s watching television but featured a few surprises among viewers of video content on alternative platforms.

Notably, the findings indicate that women of all ages watch nearly 16 more hours of traditional television a month more than men. That’s probably not big news to female-targeted networks like Lifetime, Oxygen, WE TV and Style, as well as networks like Bravo, E!, and Hallmark Channel that have predominately female viewers.

The study also affirmed that African-American viewers watch more television than any other group, both through traditional TV as well as mobile video. African-Americans tune in nearly 213 hours per month, more than twice as much as Asians and roughly 57 hours more than Whites.

The bodes well for Comcast’s pledge to launch two new black-targeted, independently owned channels over the next two years as part of its merger agreement with NBC Universal. Comcast said that it is currently whittling down a list of more than 100 “high-quality” proposals and has chosen several to “participate in the next phase of our evaluation process.”

The hope is that Comcast will choose networks that can not only attract African-American viewers, but also have the right financial business plan to not just survive, but thrive, in a very crowded marketplace, and will put executives with some cable experience at the helm.

What was surprising in the Nielsen report is that the typical mobile phone and video Internet viewer is not as young as presumed. Adults 35-49 represent the largest segment of the Internet video audience, according to the report. It’s more likely that mom and dad are firing up the laptop computer to watch an episode of Jersey Shore than their teenage kids, according to Nielsen.

Also adults 25-34 dominate the mobile video audience, a far cry from the notion that its only teens and college kids watching video content on their iPhones.