Recent TV Usage Due To COVID-19 Is Climbing More Slowly

The sharp increase in people watching U.S. TV due to COVID-19 is seeing more modest gains recently.

Total Use of Television (TUT) usage for persons two years and older is up 3% during the week of March 23 through March 29 compared to the previous week, according to Nielsen.

The previous week  -- March 16 through March 22 -- was up 18% over March 9 through March 15, the first major week of stay-at-home orders in many states.

The current level is averaging 24.6% of people in U.S. using their TVs -- watching traditional TV (live or time-shifted) or through connected devices (smart TV apps, gaming consoles).

The biggest gains this week were with 18- to-49-year-olds -- up 4% to 16.9% TUT; and with 25- to-54-year-olds also gaining 4% to 23.3% TUT.



Two audience segments showed declines or flat results: children ages 2-11 (down 1% to a TUT 17.8% level) and teens ages 12-17 (flat at 13.9%).

Nielsen says the week's most recent viewing TUT data is still strong -- nearly 27% higher versus the week of Feb. 24, when it was 19.4%, before the crisis intensified.

In the most recent week, Internet-connected usage grew 5% (to 4.7%) and video gaming console use also climbed 5% to 1.6%.

Live TV -- still the biggest TV use for all people two years of age and older -- was up 2% to 15.6%.

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