Thursday, March 26, 2020

Broadcast TV Audiences Surge To 12-Month Highs

Audiences are flocking to television shows in numbers unseen for up to a year as coronavirus shutdowns and social distancing keeps millions of Americans at home. Reuters reports.

Police action series “NCIS” scored its biggest audience since February 2019 on Tuesday night, attracting some 13.08 million viewers - a 22% increase over its last original broadcast on March 10, CBS  said on Wednesday.

The Tuesday night season finale of heart-tugging NBC series “This Is Us” was the most-watched episode since September 2019 and saw a 21% increase in viewers aged 18-49 over the previous week, NBC said.

Audiences for the big four U.S. television networks - ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC - have been declining in recent years due to fierce competition from streaming, esports and social media.

However multiple shows on traditional television, including “The Good Doctor” on ABC, “The Masked Singer” on Fox and “Survivor” on CBS are also seeing a surge in viewers, according to ratings data.

Data analytics company Nielsen said in a report last week that Americans are expected to watch as much as 60% more television across all platforms as increasingly restrictive shutdowns are implemented across the United States.

The increases are not just for escapist fare. Sunday’s topical news show “60 Minutes” reached 10.9 million viewers, its largest audience since December 2019, CBS said.

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