Nielsen estimates that total U.S. TV households will increase 1.5% for the 2008-2009 season, that the South and West in particular will experience growth, and that Baltimore is the biggest DMA to experience a significant decline.
The new figures will be used for national ratings effective Sept. 1, for meter local market ratings Sept. 27 and for the November diary book in non-metered markets.
Nielsen says that U.S. TV households will rise to 114.5 million, up from 112.8 million in the prior TV season, reflecting the 1.5% hike. Nielsen's estimate of persons ages 2+ in U.S. TV households will rise 1.3% to 290 million.
The Asian TV household base experienced 4.4% growth and Hispanic homes showed 4.3% growth, both nearly three times the growth rate of overall TV households and also surpassing black/African-American households, at 2.2%. On an absolute basis, Asians were 4.1% of all TV households, Hispanics 11% and black/African-Americans 12.2%.
In local markets, the South and West led growth, as well over half of the DMAs moving up in rankings are in the Southeast and Mountain regions.
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