News & Blog

Do People Still Watch TV?

On Thursday, June 8, 2017, Nielsen ratings reported as estimated 19.5 million people watched live or same day, the testimony of Former FBI Director James Comey to the US Congress. Admittedly, major political news generally does not attracts viewing by the younger 18-34 market. However, the age 35-54 viewers consisted of approximately 4.2 million while the 55+ topped at 13.2 million.


While there is so much conversation about smaller screens taking away from TV viewing, we must put this into perspective. TV has been a giant for decades and now other media is eating into TV's popularity, but there's still a long way to go before any other media overtakes the enormity of TV.

Nielsen's Comparable Metrics Report recently released fourth quarter 2016 viewing showed that 92% of US adults 18+ watched TV programming on their TV screens. This analysis concentrated on the share of total gross minutes of consumer viewing across TV-connected devices including PC, smartphone and tablets and televisions. Results showed that adult consumers still rely on the TV screen for the majority of their overall viewing. Viewers have more options today; this report shows that television sets are still the primary vehicle for content.

This report goes on to show that the time spent viewing across platforms among all age groups and ethnic demographics, TV viewing ranked the highest.










Sub-Total TV



PC Video



Smartphone Video



Tablet Video



Sub-Total PC, Phone & Tablet







The younger market is definitely interested in programs in which they can also socially engage, not only with each other but also being able to have conversation in real time with the talent.

Social media engagement has taken the place of 'gathering around the water cooler'. Nielsen's Social Media Content Ratings for the September 2016 to May 2017 TV season has reported 2.9 billion social interactions across Facebook and Twitter regarding TV programming. By far the leader, The Walking Dead on AMC was measured as having 2,028,000 social comments.

The Walking Dead season finale on April 3rd when series star Chandler Riggs joined the conversation, numbers soared accounting for 15% of the entire series!

The next highest social media comments were FOX's Empire with 860,000. The remaining top 10 television series scored between 453,000 to 292,000. NBC did the best by far of the traditional TV broadcasters with three of their series showing in the top 10: This Is Us at 436,000; The Voice at 396,000 and Saturday Night Live at 365,000.

ABC's The Bachelor ranking third at 453,000, fueled by the announcement of the first African-American Bachelorette. Rounding out the top 10 were: VH1's Love & Hip Hop Atlanta at 406,000 and Love & Hip Hop at 298,000; FX's American Horror Story: 6 at 292,000, and USA's WWE Monday Night RAW at 371,000. Love and Hip Hop Atlanta's 22 tweets during airtime drove over two-thirds of their engagements during the season finale on May 8, 2017.

Live events and award shows scored high on social engagement. There were 836,000 interactions across Twitter and Facebook within 5 minutes after the incorrect announcement of "La La Land" as the best picture during the Oscars. For the second consecutive year, The Grammy's scored the most interactions for specials of the season.


In addition to social media engagement, viewers also turn to the internet in search of other information about the programs, actors, or other interest perked by what they are viewing.
Advertisers definitely benefit by their commercials driving consumers to the internet. Majority of consumers today view a retailers website before entering the store. And TV drives direct response consumers seek more information.

What we see today is not as much fewer hours viewing TV, but rather viewers multi-tasking by being on-line while viewing TV. 


As an advertiser, if you are interested in learning how you can target your audience via television advertising, contact Media Power Advertising by emailing [email protected] or call 704-567-1000.

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