The total number of U.S. television households for the 2008-2009 TV season has grown to 114.5 million — up 1.5% from last year, Nielsen reported Thursday.
U.S. television viewers also increased by 1.3%, to a total of nearly 290 million people (age two and older), with older viewers (age 55+) showing the fastest growth rate (+2.7%).
The new figures, Nielsen’s TV Universe Estimate for the 2008-2009 TV season, will be reflected in Nielsen’s national TV ratings as of September 1, 2008.
Nationally, in comparison to the total number of TV households, the number of Hispanic and Asian television households increased by 4.4% and 4.3%, respectively. African American TV households grew by 2.2% during the same time period.
Locally, the top 20 television markets held onto their 2007-2008 TV season ranks. Movement among lower-ranked markets reflected recent population growth in the Southern and Western United States — of the 58 markets that moved up in rank, more than half are in the Southeast or Mountain regions.
Local market estimates are projected to January 1, 2009 and will be used in metered market samples as of September 27, 2008.
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