Media Dynamics, a media consulting company, says this is 19 years older than the median age of the total U.S. population -- 38 years old. For ABC, CBS, and NBC, the average prime-time share of audience is 25%.
In 1990 -- when those three networks had an 63% average share of audience -- the median age of broadcast prime-time viewers for ABC, CBS, and NBC was 41. Back then, the median age of the U.S. population was 33, notes Media Dynamics
Thirty years before that — in 1960 — the networks' median age of prime-time viewers was 34, while the median age of the U.S. population was 30. In 1960, those networks had a 92% share of the TV audience.
Currently, many TV and advertising executives are concerned about how to maintain younger millennials who watch TV less frequently.
Ed Papazian, president of Media Dynamics, states: “The networks might try to turn things around by emulating cable’s much edgier approach to dramas and sitcoms. But it won’t be easy.”
But there is good news — very few advertisers are focused exclusively on the younger 18-34 group. Most brands focus their sales efforts — up to 75% — on those 35 and older.
Advertisers, however, can live with older-skewing major TV networks “providing that advertisers adjust their thinking and pay attention to all of the important segments, not just millennials,” says Papazian.
“You may not be able to rely completely on ABC, CBS, and NBC prime-time shows any more, but it doesn’t mean that they’ve lost their value, either,” he adds.