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Local Broadcast TV Experiences Record Viewing as American Stay Home

TVB, the not-for-profit trade association for local broadcast television, today announced results from an analysis of TV viewership during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a quarantine in effect across the country, TV viewership was expected to increase, and TVB’s analysis of Nielsen data indicates that local TV stations overall, and local news in particular, have experienced significant viewership gains. Of note, adult 18-34 viewership experienced double-digit increases in recent weeks and news daypart viewing, in particular, had tremendous lifts with stations’ local evening news viewership soaring in key demos over last year.

TVB analyzed Nielsen TV viewing in the 25 LPM markets from seven major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW, Telemundo, Univision) for the first two weeks of March 2020, comparing them to the same time in 2019. Among key advertising demos (adults 18+ and adults 25-54) and dayparts, there was a significant increase in local broadcast TV viewing. However, the rise in A18-34 viewing was particularly dramatic, because:

  1. This cohort has long been written off by pundits and digital evangelizers as having given up on TV, and yet their numbers are up by double- and triple-digit percentages over 2019.
     
  2. The A18-34 demo is not usually associated with high news viewing.
     
  3. They also are deemed among the most skeptical of demographic segments, and yet they are trusting local TV news for their information.

Other recent research from GfK has shown that local TV is considered the most trusted source of news among all major media, by a considerable margin. 

For more information:
Download Full Analysis | Download A18-34 Analysis

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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