Maybe the NFL has become so popular that people are increasingly turning the TV on longer before kickoff. Maybe the economy has been such a turkey that people need some good cheer.
That may explain why ratings for the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade have been rising, up in 2010 for the third year in a row, while total combined viewership on the two networks that carry it -- CBS and NBC -- were 12% above the event a decade before.
Nielsen said total viewership has been fairly steady for the past two decades, hovering around 30 million. Macy’s has been the sponsor since 1924.
Last year, viewership came in at 29.6 million, up from 28.9 million the year before. The high in the past 20 years was 1993, at 31.1 million.
The percentage of 18-to-49 viewers has dropped slightly, comparing 1991 and 2010. In 1991, 38% of viewers were in the demo. Last year, it was 34%.
In a world where young people are using so many devices, viewing is notably down among viewers 2 to 17 (27% to 19%) and those in the 18-to-34 segment (20% to 13%).