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November 24, 2008

Nielsen: TV use at all-time high

Nielsen announced the results of a second annual media consumption survey that found television and Internet usage continues to increase -- even though broadcast ratings have declined.

The measurement company said the average person in the United States watched 142 hours of TV a month, up 4%, from last year.

People who used the Internet were online 27 hours a month (up 6%) and those who watched video on mobile phones watched three hours a month (unchanged).

"Americans keep finding more time to spend with the three screens," said Susan Whiting, vice chairperson for The Nielsen Company.  "TV use is at an all-time high, yet people are also using the Internet more often – 31% of which is happening simultaneously."

Other findings of the study include:

-- DVR use is significant: Americans spend more than 6 hours per month watching DVR-timeshifted TV, which is more than double the amount of time they watch video online. 

-- Men are more likely than women to watch video on mobile phones, but women are more likely then men to watch video on the Internet.

-- Online video use grew steadily through the quarter when there was major events including the Olympics, Major League baseball games, the political conventions and debates, and the financial crisis.

“Our numbers show that TV remains the dominant choice for most Americans,” Whiting said. “Yet timeshifting as well as videos on the Internet and on mobile phones, continue to be the trends to watch.”

Broadcast ratings continue to dip despite overall TV use increasing due to the ongoing growth of cable channels and DVR use.

Related: Record: average home gets 119 channels

Further reading: Do the broadcast networks need a bailout?

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