TV Usage Climbs 18% as Virus Keeps People Home

Total TV usage was up 18% for the week of March 16 compared to the previous week, according to new figures from Nielsen.

TV viewing has been soaring as people are urged to stay indoors in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Viewing among teens (12- to 17-year-olds) was up 43%, Nielsen said.

Live TV, which has been eroding in recent years, was a 14% increase compared to the previous week. Time-shifted viewing was up 10% and internet connected device use was up 28%. Video game console use was up 35%.

Local markets with the biggest increases in ratings were Austin, Denver, Minneapolis, Boston and New York, all showing gains of 20% or more.

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.