TV Dominates As Live Medium, Cord-Cutting Disputed

TVAlthough DVR usage continues to makes inroads into the television landscape, overall television viewing is primarily enjoyed as a live medium.

Research from Turner Broadcasting -- from an end-of-the-year report on television -- notes that total TV viewing, in terms of the average number of viewing hours per week per person, was 33.9 hours for November. Live viewing was 31.7 hours -- or 93.5% of total TV viewing.

In November 2010, Turner reports there were 2.2 viewing hours per week per person, on average, coming from time-shifted viewing. This takes into account all TV activity, in all homes in all TV dayparts: TV station, network and cable.

To be sure, live viewing is dropping -- but not dangerously when examining the entire TV landscape. In 2009, the live share number was 94.4% (31.9 hours per week). In 2006, live viewing was 99.1% (32.0 hours per week.)



Turner's research also disputes some studies about cable cord-cutting coming at the expense of Internet service growth. It says 70% of U.S. homes had both cable and Internet in November 2010 (81.5 million), up from 68% in November 2009 (78.7 million) and 68% in January 2009 (76.6 million).

However, it also says homes that have just cable (no Internet) are now at a 19% U.S. penetration rate, down from 21% in November 2009 -- which means 22.2 million homes, down from 23.7 million homes. Turner says only 5% of homes have Internet-only (no cable) or 5.4 million homes. This is up from 4% or 5.1 million homes of a year ago.

3 comments about "TV Dominates As Live Medium, Cord-Cutting Disputed".
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  1. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, December 30, 2010 at 6:31 p.m.

    Good to get some solid numbers. You'd never know this from the hype out there.

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, December 30, 2010 at 7:10 p.m.

    Yes, everything is just fine. Broadcast (and cable) will be the first media in history to be compeltely removed from the the forces of technological progress. The media world will never change again. Move along, folks, nothing to see here. Slow incremental change means no change at all. Just ask the frog in the frying pan.

  3. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, December 31, 2010 at 7:50 p.m.

    @douglas -

    Not arguing that everything is "fine". Rather, this report helps us gauge true consumer demand/interest despite the incredible hype of the machine - those GoogleTV advocates and those who advocate tearing down an advertising medium which is a truly important part of the national economy. (And remember that Google wants this solely so that it can continue to grow it's revenue by stealing ad dollars from traditional TV - the only source of revenue big enough to matter to Google.)

    Things are clearly going to be evolving - but in what way? Can't tell from this report. Except this report suggests that the immediate destruction isn't imminent.

    And that's good. Slow incremental change can be powerful and produce good additional value without destroying the old value (as has already happened with newspapers).

    Much better than revolutionary change. Students of history know that revolution most often replaces the frustratingly mediocre with the truly horrible - as in replacing the Tsar's with Stalin's death camps.

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