Research: Cable TV viewership share tops 70%

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The latest edition of the Television Viewership Report (TVR) from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, suggests that Cable TV saw its highest share of time spent, with 71 per cent of that attributed to consumption of cable versus broadcast and premium networks in Q3.

The semi-annual research publication provides actionable insights on how viewers are consuming content nowadays, examining viewership trends for H2 2020 versus the same time period last year. Another noteworthy trend was the shift toward live cable TV viewing, in part driven by changing viewership patterns and behaviours.

Key findings include:

  • Comcast households saw a shift toward live TV in H2 2020, accounting for 89 per cent of daily viewership. There was a 16-minute year-over-year increase in live viewing for Q3, and a 10-minute year-over-year increase in Q4.
  • Over the last three full years of viewing data, time spent with cable networks and live viewing has been up or flat year-over-year every quarter.
  • Cable TV news drove a large percentage of the increase in time spent with live TV in H2 2020 at 25 per cent, up from just 16 per cent the same time the previous year.

“TV viewing in the second half of the year was impacted dramatically by the unique circumstances of 2020, and it was particularly interesting to see how live viewing surged as a result of some of those factors,” said James Rothwell, VP, global agency, brand and industry relations at Comcast Advertising, Effectv’s parent company. “Time spent with cable news, in particular, as everyone wanted to stay informed about the latest political, social and health issues, was the most dramatic driver of that increase in live viewing and illustrates the continued importance of TV for advertisers, as well as audience-based tactics to adapt to media consumption trends.”

The data in this edition of the TVR looks at how and where TV audiences are spending their time by aggregating data from more than 17 million Comcast households across 65 markets. Additionally, the report’s findings are based on 16.3 billion hours of viewing.

 


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