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Coronavirus Media Impact on Television Viewing

Consumers are making significant changes to the way they interact with television in these changes times.

  • Audiences have increasingly turned to local news stations to learn about the impact of Coronavirus on local communities.
    • This includes needed answers such as elderly shopping hours, locations and availability of testing facilities, and information on rapidly changing situations.
    • Local news stations also provide a platform for focusing on the good in our communities as well as a connection with local newscasters who maintain visibility in person during difficult times


  • In the top 25 television markets, viewership has grown dramatically year-over-year: 33% increase from March 2019 to March 2020.  The largest increase in viewership has been in the Adult 18-34 demographic (38%), followed by Adults 35-54 (35%) and by Adults 50+ (29%).


  • Viewing habits are shifting to increased time spent on daytime and early fringe dayparts now that the working population is spending time at home. This is especially evident in viewership growth in early morning and midday news areas, as well as in early fringe.


  • Video on Demand (VOD) and other OTT transactions have increased nearly 30% year-over-year from March 2019 to March 2020. Many studios have begun to shift what would be in-theatre movie runs to VOD and OTT.


Viewing patterns will continue to change and shift in reaction to developments in the Coronavirus situation.

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