TV Viewing Points Upward During The First Week Of Stay-At-Home

U.S. TV viewing is pointing higher -- reversing some long-time trends -- as a result of the first full week of stay-at-home mandates for around 100 million U.S. people.

But results are not yet positive for every TV daypart.

For the week ending March 29, broadcast prime time is 6% higher for 18-49 audiences, according to Nielsen’s live program-plus-same day analysis, done through Bernstein Research.

Other dayparts are still posting declines -- although decelerating.

Total viewing is down 5% -- versus a 14% decline through the first-quarter date. In 2019, there were 15%, 15%, 14%, and 12% declines in sequential quarterly viewing.

Other dayparts are also still down -- although less so. Prime-time adult viewing on cable networks is 10% lower, with first quarter-to-date ratings off 15%.



Kids' TV programming declines -- which had been down 21% to 24% for each of the quarterly periods in the 2019 -- were virtually cut in half to a 13% fall for the most current week.

Looking at some specific networks, Fox was 19% higher versus the previous week due to higher viewing from new episodes of “WWE Smackdown,” “The Masked Singer” and “Lego Masters.”

NBC gained 16% as a result of new episodes of “New Amsterdam,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” “Chicago PD," “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and “The Blacklist.”

ABC grew 16% thanks to “American Idol” and “Station 19.”  CBS was down 37% due to the cancellation this year of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for the network -- and cable TV networks partner TNT -- scheduled to air in March.

Around 30 of the 50 U.S. states currently have stay-at-home mandates in place -- a little more than 100 million Americans.

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