Now in the thick of the COVID-19 crisis, TV usage shows sharply higher daytime viewing for general and business news and smaller gains for entertainment for the most recent reporting week.
Total live TV viewing for seven cable news networks for the week ending March 20 shows a 40% increase in total day viewing versus the same week in February of this year. It is 68% higher when looking at the daytime period and 56% higher for the early-fringe (afternoon) daypart, according to Comscore.
Perhaps more impressive is the increase in viewing among two major financial cable news networks -- up 78% in total day viewing and 134% more for the daytime daypart, with a 131% gain in early-fringe.
Looking at all program viewing for the four top broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox -- total day viewing is up 12.6% versus the same week in February.
Just looking at the daytime daypart, there was 28% hike, with early-fringe 22% higher. Comscore says prime-time viewing on those networks is 3.5% higher -- up 9.4% versus the same week in 2019.
Daytime viewing for children’s program networks is up 30% compared to the same week in February, and up 31% from the same week in 2019.
The issues around COVID-19 have forced many U.S. adults to work for home and younger adults to do schoolwork at home though online platforms.
Media analysts have anticipated strong gains in daytime home viewing.