Kids TV Viewing Lower On Legacy TV -- Even In A Pandemic

Analyzing current TV viewership -- with still plenty of at-home work, school and other activities for U.S. citizens young and old -- should yield rising if not steady traditional linear TV activity.

But this isn't the case. One of the key areas -- viewers 2-11 -- continues to see sharply lower numbers.

We get traditional linear TV isn’t a thing for young people. But shouldn’t there be some overall drafting for legacy TV from all fast-growing digital streams, such as OTT and connected TV? Maybe not.

For the last five weeks, kids cable networks were down more than 30%, says Bernstein Research. In the most recently reported week, Nickelodeon was down 42%; Cartoon Network, 25% lower; and Disney XD, losing 18%. Disney Channel -- not an ad-supported channel -- was off 34%.

TV kids trends have been this way for sometime -- even before the pandemic. Since the beginning of 2018, traditional TV linear viewing among kids 2-11 has been down around 22% to 25% for every quarterly period -- except one.



And that was the second quarter of this year -- when the country was in the depths of the pandemic. The 2-11 demo ratings were down just 17% for the second three months of 2020.

Now we're back -- and worse -- to a 30% drubbing.

We know kids have been -- and will continue -- to immerse themselves in the digital world, especially now, with easy to navigate connected TV platforms. Amp this activity higher for tweens, teens and young adults.

Everyone sees where this is going. The big smart TV platform -- Vizio -- recently added 12 free kids and family TV channels for SmartCast platform users. After all, kids are predicted to spend lots of time at home in the coming school year.

Additionally, it’s been a year since The Roku Channel added its Kids & Family programming area.

People may complain their still-high traditional cable TV bills includes stuff they don’t watch -- like sports, which costs plenty for cable TV operators in terms of carriage fees. But what about the low cost and poorly viewed children’s TV programming networks?

In terms of determining complex monetization of specific legacy business TV operations, it's not kids stuff.

1 comment about "Kids TV Viewing Lower On Legacy TV -- Even In A Pandemic".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 21, 2020 at 9:37 a.m.

    Wayne, a considerable amount of viewing by kids--2-11 and, especially, teens--12-17---is to videogames. This seems to be a growing activity for the younger age groups. In some tallies up to a third of their total "TV" activity---including digital---- is  via videogames.

Next story loading loading..