Out-of-Home Viewing Boom


Led by college students and those watching in the workplace, the nation’s average quarter-hour viewing level increases 6% when out-of-home locations are factored in, according to findings from a new study.

Research conducted for the second “The Total TV Audience Monitor” indicates that the average quarter hour TV audience in the nation jumps by 2.2 million adults between 6 a.m. and 2 a.m., when off- and on-campus facilities, workplace, hotels/motels, second homes and restaurants/bars are counted. Among adults 18 to 34, the total was an additional 1.26 million per week.

According to the Total TV Audience Monitor, which tracked viewer behavior last fall, an estimated 42.3 million people ages 18 or older watch TV in unmeasured out-of-home locations on a weekly basis, a 17% jump from 36.3 million in 2003.

Most out-of-home viewing takes place in off-campus housing (31%) and on-campus facilities (15%). Those locales were followed by the workplace (24%), hotels/motels (8%), second homes (7%) and restaurants/bars (8%), according to the study. All told, almost 11 million college students spend 14 hours watching TV in out-of-home locations during the average week.

As for individual networks, ESPN counted just under 6 million additional adult viewers per week, according to the study. Cable News Network was second with 5.18 million, trailed by TBS with 3.1 million, Fox News Channel with 3.05 million and MTV with 2.93 million.

Study results were gleaned from a seven-day personal diary in which TV viewing data was collected from national sample of 4,700 adults from Oct. 7 through Nov. 3, 2004. This included a supplemental campus-based sample of 1,056 college students attending two- and four-year colleges or universities. The study is supported by sponsors and subscribers, including ESPN and ABC.

Montesano Marketing Research supervised the service that employs a consortium of research firms to complete each stage of the research process:sample selection, recruiting, data collection, editing and coding, and data processing. These firms include LHK Partners, Leflein Associates and Star Media Enterprises.