TV Viewing Increased Despite Writer's Strike:; Carat Ratings Predicts Fox, ABC to Lead in Fall

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August 20th, 2008

TV Week has a nice write up of Carat's prime-time preview report and forecasts FOX and ABC will lead in the 18-49 demographic and that NBC will be hard pressed to improve its fourth place position.

There's a lot of interesting info in the post, but I found this blurb most interesting:

For all the talk about Americans forsaking the tube to enjoy online goodies, the Carat report notes households now spend two more hours per week with TV than they did five years ago. Those coveted 18- to 49-year-olds spend another hour with TV above and beyond their consumption in the 2003-04 season. Despite the writers strike, households and adults spent more time watching TV than they did the prior season.

Though I'm right there with Carat in general, I confess that the take away of "TV viewing increased despite the WGA strike" did surprise me. It'll be interesting to compare that with the updated Nielsen average household viewing data which will likely be available sometime within the next month or so.

Read the full post on TV Week.

Update: Em asked in the comments what my own predictions were and whether CBS would really slip so much. Though I replied in the comments, I figured I'd include it here for those reading via RSS:

I can't fairly compare to the Carat rankings because they use C+3 data (commercial viewing -- live, plus three days of DVR viewing) and we lack that data. The only time we ever saw the any of that data it tracked fairly closely w/the live viewing averages. On that basis and with extremely cursory analysis at that, for the fall quarter I'd predict in terms of total viewers: CBS, ABC, FOX and in the 18-49 demo, ABC, CBS and FOX. I'm looking at only through Dec 31 (but so was Carat) where Fox has no American Idol. Fringe may give FOX a bump vs. last year but I don't know if it's enough to overtake CBS during the fall.

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