TV Viewing Patterns Intensify, Ratings Erode

Major current TV viewing trends are not only about ratings erosion --  but about diverging viewer groups.

In a study by programmatic TV ad tech company TubeMogul, research shows that heaviest viewers of broadcast network TV in 2007 are watching even more TV now --- and the lightest TV viewers are watching less.

The study says the average program rating of the heaviest TV viewers was a 1.5 Nielsen 18-plus rating in 2015 versus 1.2% in 2007 -- a 26% increase. For those “light TV viewers,” the average rating is now a Nielsen 0.08. down from a 0.2 in 2007.

The data comes fro ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and NBC programs across genres including drama, sports, comedy, reality and news/talk. The average 2007 and 2015 ratings are among adults 18 years and older in the top TV quintile for consecutive broadcast network programs across all genres.        

Looking at specific linear TV ratings per program, erosion continues at a faster pace. For the 2014-2015 TV season, 74% of weekly broadcast shows saw their average rating drop by up to 1 point from the prior season. In 2007-2008 TV season, that number was 47%.



Millennials still watch a lot of TV -- as well as using other devices. But TubeMogul says they shouldn’t be put into one group.  It says younger Millennials -- those 18-24s -- watch 16 hours and 18 minutes (16:18) a week of traditional TV, less than 25-34 year olds, who watch 23:26 a week.

Younger Millennials, however, watch more connected TV than older Millennials -- 6:12 to 5:56.  Older Millennials spend more time with computers -- 10:50 a week versus those 18-24 who tally 6:33.

2 comments about "TV Viewing Patterns Intensify, Ratings Erode".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, December 8, 2016 at 2:21 p.m.

    Wayne, this is a pretty confusing report. First off, there is no way that this is defining the same people as heavy viewers in both 2007 and 2015. To do that you would have to have a panel of people who contributed set usage data in both years---a virtual impossibility diue to panel turnover. Second, judging by the ratings cited, I assume that these are sign-on to sign-off ratings, not just primetime. Is that correct? Finally, why are the "current" comparisons based on 2015 not 2016 findings?

  2. Taylor Schreiner from TubeMogul, December 8, 2016 at 2:29 p.m.

    Anyone who is interested in the details of the work itself, the link is here:

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