Live/Same Day Q2 Viewing Is Losing Ground

Live TV viewing seems to be accelerating its recent losses, according to some Nielsen live program/same day time-shifted metrics.

Total 18-49 prime-time and kids 2-11 viewing are down 31% so far, looking at the second-quarter 2021 numbers-to-date versus a year ago, according to Bernstein Research analysis of Nielsen data.

This is faster than the 24% decline in the first quarter of this year, and also versus previous periods -- an 18% drop in fourth quarter of 2020; 19% in the third quarter of 2020, and 14% in the second quarter of 2020.

Non-kids cable prime-time 18-49 viewers fell 29% so far since April 1 -- a bigger decline than the 22% drop in the entire first quarter. Non-kids broadcast prime time is at 32% now for the most recent month period; there was a 26% pullback in the first quarter of this year.

The biggest declines are still among the kids 2-11 demo among total-day viewing on cable TV networks -- now in free fall, sinking 46% versus a 37% drop in the first quarter; a 33% fall in the fourth-quarter 2020; and 29% in the third-quarter 2020.

In the past, broadcast TV networks could typically see rising viewership of big prime-time shows for season-ending episodes.



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