There is some buzz around the Internet that this is National Turn Off Your TV Week, but given that it’s also the official kick off of the 2010/2011 TV season, we’re doubting many will take heed. Premiere week is primarily a broadcast event, but some cable shows, like the Martin Scorsese-directed “Boardwalk Empire” on HBO, also debut this week.
Turn Off Your TV Week organizers surely can’t be pleased by the latest Nielsen figures. The number of U.S. homes with at least 1 TV actually increased about 0.9% percent from last year to 115.9mln. The average American watches 35 hours and 34 mins of TV per week, while kids 2-11 watch 25 hours and 48mins of live TV each week.
Nielsen further breaks down the top 10 broadcast and cable shows for the last TV season. “American Idol,” NBC’s Sun Night Football and “Undercover Boss” ruled broadcast. Cable was led by ESPN’s Mon Night Football and MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” followed by a trifecta of USA series (“Burn Notice,” “Royal Pains,” “Covert Affairs”).
Another interesting factoid from Nielsen is that not only are we watching a lot of TV, but we’re presumably watching it with a better picture. In July ’07, 10% of households were HD capable of receiving high-def TV. Today that number stands at 54.2% (with Houston having the highest percentage of HD homes in the top 25 local people meter markets; Portland has the lowest).
DVR growth also has exploded from 1.2% in Jan ’06 to 37.3% in July ’10. The average DVR user these days watches just over 2 hours of time-shifted TV each week. By the way, ratings-winner “Burn Notice” on USA was the most frequently DVR’d cable show last season. Its 18-49 live rating of 1.27 jumps to 2.32 when Live +7 data is used. So, perhaps those who observe Turn Off Your TV Week will just DVR their shows for next week…