Nielsen Announces Updated Estimates for 2008-2009 Season

Categories: TV Ratings Reference

Written By

August 28th, 2008

Nielsen released its U.S. estimates for the 2008-2009 season. Although these are projections for January 1, 2009, they will be used throughout the 2008-2009 season beginning September 1, 2008

Total television households grew to 114.5 million, a 1.5% increase over last year.  Total people aged two and older grew to 289.95 million, a 1.3% increase.   Hispanic and Asian TV households outpaced overall TV household growth, growing 4.3 and 4.4% respectively.

We had seen many reports during the spring that DVR penetration in homes had grown to 25% from last year's ~21%, and the 2008-2009 estimates are fairly consistent with those reports.  Nielsen estimates DVRs in 27.95 million homes or  24.4% of TV households that reach 76.86 million people age two and older.

Category 2008-2009 (Million)
U.S. TV Households  114.50
Pers 2+ (TV HH) 289.95
18-34 68.17
18-49 131.97
25-54 124.34
55+ 45.19
DVR Households 27.95
DVR Pers 2+ Reach 76.86
DVR % of Households 24.41%

The table above also lists the audience size of the key advertising age demographics we generally report on.  I also included the 55+ audience.  While the advertisers haven't traditionally favored the over 55 sector, it is impressive that only 16% of the population routinely seems to account for about 50% of viewing.   As a percentage,  55+ was the fastest growing age demographic, increasing 2.7% from last year.  Good news for CBS?

Nielsen also released updates to all 210 Designated Market Areas (DMA), and for the first time in more than ten years, none of the top 20 markets changed rank.  Nielsen reports a continued trend of growth in Southern and Western U.S. markets, with over half of the markets which moved up in rank coming from the Southeast and Mountain regions. You can see the full updated list of DMAs, or the press release announcing the 2008-2009 estimates (both are PDF files).

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