One in five persons who watched the recent NFL playoff games did so away from their homes, according to recent Arbitron Portable People Meter results.
Arbitron says its 30,0000-plus sample size represents the largest away-from-home football study in TV history. Overall, Arbitron's ARB-TV uses 52,000 panelists across 29 markets.
The out-of-home viewing looked at two CBS games -- Baltimore Ravens-Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets-San Diego Chargers -- for all adults 18 years and older. The numbers are higher when looking at men 18-34, where one in four watched away from home.
For the Ravens-Colts game on Jan. 16, the estimate had the game receiving a 14.9 viewer rating in those 29 markets, with an 11.8 rating coming from in-home screening, and a 3.0 rating coming from away-from-home. This OOH viewing represented 20.3% of all viewing and 25.5% of the in-home viewing.
For the Jets-Chargers game on Jan. 17, the total viewer rating was 19.4 in 29 markets -- a 15.2 rating from in-home and 4.1 rating from away-from-home. This represented 21.4% of the overall total and 27.2% of the in-home rating.
Away-from-home viewing among men 18-34 added 42% to the in-home viewing audience for the Ravens-Colts game and 39% for the Jets-Chargers game.
Sports programming is one specific area where TV programmers say viewers tend to watch out of their homes: in bars, restaurants or other people's homes.
TV programmers have complained that lack of these sports ratings have hindered their ability to sell more advertising. Analysts say out-of-home viewing has been an elusive part of overall TV viewing through the years. A portable people meter is a device that viewers carry with them; audio signals are picked up by the device. Later on, the viewing data is transferred for analysis.