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Nielsen: Hispanic, Asian TV Homes Outpace Overall TV Household Growth

The total number of U.S. TV households for the 2008-2009 season will be 114.5 million, an increase of 1.5% from last year, with Hispanic and Asian homes increasing nearly three times faster than the overall pace, Nielsen said Thursday.

Nielsen also estimates that the number of persons aged two and older in U.S. TV households will increase by 1.3% to a total of nearly 290 million.

The national universe estimates show a continued increase of Hispanic and Asian TV households in comparison to total TV households. Proportional growth of Asian (4.4%) and Hispanic (4.3%) TV households was nearly three times greater than the growth for the Total TV Household estimate, or 1.5%.

Black or African American TV households increased 2.2% from last year.

In addition, Baby Boomers continue to drive the growth of adults 55 and older, and the universe estimates continue to reflect this change in the U.S. age structure. The adults 55-plus demographic is increasing at a rate double that of the total people two and older demo, or 2.7% versus 1.3%, respectively.

The 2008-2009 local TV household universe estimates and market ranks reflect a continued trend of growth in the Southern and Western United States. Of the 58 markets that moved up in rank, well over half are in the expanding Southeast or Mountain regions.

For the first time in more than 10 years, there were no rank changes in the top 20 markets, though movement in the lower ranks was still evident.

Notable increases include:

-- Austin enters the Top 50 markets, moving from 51 to 49

-- Indianapolis enters the Top 25 markets, increasing from 26 to 25

-- Las Vegas continues steady growth moving from 43 to 42

-- Palm Springs moves up 2 ranks from 144 to 142

-- Numerous multi-rank increases were contained in the Mountain-region, including Salt Lake City (+2), Reno (+2), Grand Junction-Montrose (+3), Butte-Bozeman (+4) and Spokane (+2).

With the digital TV transition deadline Feb. 7 next year, Nielsen said it will closely monitor changes to its local samples and will be prepared to evaluate potential adjustments to both the 2008-2009 national and local universe estimates.