Cable Programming Increased Share in Comcast Households

(Image credit: Effectv)

Cable programming increased its share of viewing in homes service by Comcast, according to a new report from Effectv, the ad sales division of Comcast Cable.

The report looks at changes in TV usage behavior, most of which were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cable TV’s share of time spent viewing rose to a high of 71% in the third quarter, compared to broadcast and premium channels.  

In the second half of 2020, live TV viewing accounted for 89% of daily viewership, increasing by 16 minutes per day in the third quarter and 10 minutes per day in the fourth quarter.

Effectv said that in an election year on top of a pandemic, cable news drove a large percentage of the increase in time spent with live TV. 

“TV viewing in the second half of the year was impacted dramatically by the unique circumstances of 2020, and it was particularly interesting to see how live viewing surged as a result of some of those factors,” said James Rothwell, VP, global agency, brand and industry relations at Comcast Advertising, Effectv’s parent company. 

“Time spent with cable news, in particular, as everyone wanted to stay informed about the latest political, social and health issues, was the most dramatic driver of that increase in live viewing and illustrates the continued importance of TV for advertisers, as well as audience-based tactics to adapt to media consumption trends,” Rothwell said.

Effectv’s data comes from 17 million Comcast households in 65 markets, and a total of 16.3 billion hours of viewing.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.