Daytime TV set usage continues to climb as people are staying at home due to the COVID-19 virus.
In some select TV markets -- New York, Dallas, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Sacramento and Indianapolis -- daytime TV Sets In Use (SIU) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. are up 26% to 44%, increasing through the day for the week of March 16 compared to the similar week a year ago, according to Comscore.
The biggest gains are between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. -- up 40% to 44%.
Comscore defines Sets In Use (SIU) as the duration-weighted sum of all sets in a given time period that are watching television, as the sum of reported ratings for that given time period, expressed as a percentage.
During the daytime, the 5 p.m. hour posted the highest set-use level -- 49% -- up 20% -- from the previous week.
Even in traditionally low viewing periods, there are gains. For example, in those five markets, set-usage levels are almost 10% higher at 6 a.m. this year versus last year.
Compared to a month ago, there are gains in set-use as well -- 17% at the 9 a.m. hour, growing throughout the day to 23% during the 4 p.m. hour.
Comscore’s media research competitor, Nielsen, defines TV set usage -- “Household Using Televisions” (HUTs) -- as the number of television homes using one or more television sets during the a specified time period.
HUTs are then used to calculate the average viewers watching television for an average minute in a 15-minute time period or during the average minute of a specific program.
Looking at specific hourly viewing gains, Comscore says there has been growth in early morning -- up 28% between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. and 20% between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Viewing gains were virtually flat throughout the day. Viewing gains in the late afternoon news period were up 5% at the 3 p.m. hour and 13% in the 4 p.m hour.