Billionaire blogger, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and hopefully someday soon, the owner of the Chicago Cubs, Mark Cuban, blogged about how much more of the Summer Olympics people are likely consuming as result of big screen televisions with high definition. Cuban cites data pointing to much higher consumption of HD content and wishes he could see the data NBC has on this for the Olympics.
Sure, Cuban also owns HDNet, so he's biased towards HD, but my own consumption, especially of sports (especially lately perhaps, women's beach volleyball) is definitely higher with high definition. I'd like to see such data too, if it exists. While I don't think it's something Nielsen currently measures, NBC could measure it in other ways and it would be great to see the data if they are.
Update 08/18/08, 9:00am PDT: Commenter "Mikey" added the following info in the comments below. I trust his details (ballpark and otherwise) on the data Nielsen provides on HD viewing...
Nielsen actually does track HDTV homes. As of a couple days ago the Olympics were averaging a 21.5 in Prime in HD homes, or +25% better than they were then doing in all homes.
Believe it or not, the 25% bump could be called mediocre for a big sports event. The Super Bowl was +40% higher in HD homes. So was the World Series, NFC Playoffs, Masters, etc. (I'm ballparking here).