Hoping To Become Your TV Ritual -- Sans Hairspray

An older woman across the street comes out of the house every couple of day to sit on the porch and blow-dry her hair. There’s an extension cord; a cup of coffee; and some warm Los Angeles weather completing this tableau.

It’s a ritual -- those small events that continue to be important in our daily lives, no matter what.

Watching TV is among them for sure. (We wonder what TV shows she watches  -- in daytime, in the evening -- and when the tablet or smartphone will make an appearance on the porch.)

Whatever media rituals are important for any single person, we know this: they are growing, and complicated.

The average number of traditional TV networks watched per household is now up to 22 in 2013 (based on 10 or more continuous minutes) out of an average 189 channels received, according to data recently presented by Alan Wurtzel, president of research and media development for NBCUniversal. That number was 17 in 2008, out of an average 129 networks.



This was part of an overall presentation that posed the question: Where have all the viewers gone? Answer: They are still watching TV/video. You just need to look closely -- not necessarily in the usual places or through the traditional lens of viewing measurement companies.

But perhaps you may have forgotten one of the biggest TV rituals of the year for many U.S. TV viewers: the Super Bowl.

Typically, an average of nearly 294 million TV viewers watch -- sort of, in and around party-like surroundings, the haze of alcohol or too much food.

And young people do, too. According to one survey, only 3% of college-aged Millennials 18-24 don't watch the big game. Not bad.

For traditional TV networks/producers, this is good news: a continuing ritual for the future. They may not mind if any viewers make blow-drying their hair part of their TV ritual.

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