Primetime TV Usage Hits High


Driven by increases in the 18-through-24 and 50-through-64 age groups, primetime television usage in the United States reached an all-time high during the 2000-2001 TV season, according to a Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

For the season spanning Oct. 2, 2000, through Sept. 9, 2001, the CAB found that the total number of U.S. households using television in primetime reached 60.5 million, up 2 percent from 59.4 million in the 1999-2000 season.

The CAB analysis also indicated that the total number of persons aged two-plus using TV increased 2 percent to 96.7 million during the last TV season, up from 95.1 million in the period covering Sept. 20, 1999, through Sept. 10, 2000.

There was a 5 percent increase among people ages 50 through 64 using TV, the highest of any group. The CAB study indicated that 19.8 million people of that group watched TV on average during last season, compared with 18.9 million the prior season.

The 18-through-24 group was next, notching a 4 percent rise to nearly 6.02 million from 5.78 million, according to the CAB.

Posting 1 percent gains, the two-through-11, 25-through-34 and 35-through-49 groups all showed increased TV usage last season, while usage among those aged 12 through 17 and 65 and older were flat.

"These findings show that TV usage is healthier than ever, due in large part to the growing primetime audiences being generated by ad-supported cable programming," CAB president and CEO Joe Ostrow said in a prepared statement.