Led by Teen Girls, Americans Continue to Watch TV at Record Levels

Average American television viewing continues to increase in spite of growing competition from new media platforms and devices, such as video iPods, cell phones and streaming video. 

The total average time a household watched television during the 2005-2006 television year was 8 hours and 14 minutes per day, a 3-minute increase from the 2004-2005 season and a record high, according to Nielsen Media Research. The average amount of television watched by an individual viewer increased 3 minutes per day to 4 hours and 35 minutes, also a record. Meanwhile, during primetime, households tuned to an average of 1 hour and 54 minutes of primetime television per night, up 1 minute, and the average viewer watched 1 hour and 11 minutes, which was the same as last year. 

Although teenagers typically drive the consumption and development of new media platforms, teens age 12-17 viewed 3% more traditional television during the full day than in the 2004-2005 television year. This increase was driven primarily by teenage girls, who increased their Total Day viewing by 6%. Increases among teenage girls were particularly high during early morning (6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.) and late night (11:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.) viewing, which were up 12% and 6%, respectively.

Younger children age 2-11 also watched more television during 2005-2006, increasing their total day viewing levels by 4%. Viewing by children increased 3% during primetime, 5% during early morning and 6% during late night.

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