TV households, viewers increase

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NEW YORK -- Television might be under pressure from the Internet and other media, but the number of TV households remains on the rise, however slightly.

Nielsen Media Research said Thursday that there will be 112.8 million TV households in the U.S. on Jan. 1 -- up 1.3% compared with a year ago. The number of viewers will be 286 million, a gain of 1%.

Nielsen uses the household and viewer estimates to help calculate the ratings that are currency for the networks and advertising industry. The new estimates will be in effect beginning Monday and throughout this upcoming TV season. A household rating point will be worth 1.13 million households, and a demo rating point about 2.9 million people.

The fastest-growing segment of viewers are adults 55-64, which increased 3.8% and, among them, women 55 and older (up 2.4%) and men 55 and older (up 2.9%). Nielsen said that reflects the fact that the baby boomer generation is getting older. Essentially flat demos are children 2-11 and teens 12-17.

Local TV markets showing growth were Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Phoenix, Charlotte, N.C., and Palm Springs, among others. The top two markets were New York with 7.4 million TV households and Los Angeles with 5.6 million TV households.
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