Broadcast TV Viewership During Coronavirus

Broadcast TV Viewership During Coronavirus

Download: March, April, May, June, July, Aug & Sept | A18-34 | Hispanics

2020 was marked by the threat of COVID-19, which was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11th. This crisis has forced millions of Americans to stay home, while the phrases “social distancing” and “self-quarantine” have taken over the media and become part of our daily conversation. TV has been an essential source for audiences looking for critical information and updates on the coronavirus, as well as a key source of entertainment.

TVB analyzed TV viewership each month starting in March 2020, comparing them to the same time in 2019. Local news among key demos has shown a strong increase in broadcast TV viewing.

What we examined:

  • Geography: 25 LPM markets
  • Source: 7 Broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW, Telemundo, Univision
  • Weeks: compared March – September 2019 versus 2020, averaging the weekly cumed impressions in the 25 LPMs, and the % increase vs 2019.
  • Demos: A18+, A18-34, A25-54

Key findings:

  • Viewership increased in 2020 versus the same weeks last year. While audience levels are moderating, they still represent significant increases above same time last year.
  • The most dramatic increases from 2019 occurred in evening news, especially for A18-34.
Source: Nielsen, NLTV, monthly average of weekly cumed impressions and % Increases Vs. 2019 in the 25 LPMs. M-F AM, Evening & Late Local News. ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC, Tel, Uni

Source: GfK TVB Media Comparisons Study 2020. Persons 18-34. Agree Strongly or Agree Somewhat. Q9 – For each source, please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statement: I trust the News that I see/hear on this media source.