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The average American watched 34 hours and 39 minutes of television per week during the final three months of 2010 according to a recent State of the Media report by the Nielsen company.

The ratings giant said that American Seniors (Adults 65+) watched the most television heaviest, a whopping 47 hours and 33 minutes per week, followed by adults 50-64 who watched 43 hours per week.

Teenagers who are often accused of watching too much television watched an average of 23 hours and 41 minutes per week.
 

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Not surprised about the numbers between the age groups. People get less active as they get older and being retired gives one more time to watch tele.

Kids are consumed by new technology.
 

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Adults 35-49 now timeshift just over 3 hours of television a week.
I always find it fascinating that people have the tools to timeshift, but only do it about 20% of the time (less than 10% of viewing time ratioed for the 40% of Americans with PVRs). This number has been the same (about 20%) since the advent of the VCR. People could either save themselves about 30-50% of the time they spend in front of the TV, or they could watch 50-100% more, better, programming if they took active part in their TV viewing with their PVRs, but I guess (most) people prefer to "veg".

http://www.digitalhome.ca/2011/04/one-in-four-canadian-homes-owns-a-pvr/ PVR ownership.


Regarding kids using TVs less, that may be true, but they are often simply in front of a different screen - computer, tablet, cell, etc.
 

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Then again, I PVR everything, but tend to watch most shows live. I just use those commercial breaks to read emails/forums or grab a drink/snack... ;)
 

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100% of our Family viewing is using the PVR.

We don't watch that much tv though. Most nights I don't watch anything.
 

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If you read "Reality is Broken" by Jane McGonigal, she points out that those who play video games watch drastically less TV than anyone else. Ofcourse this is because they are in fact gaming. I'm one of those gamers, but I do normally have the TV on in the room when I'm on the computer, guess I just like having white noise. It's very rare that I'll sit down for the sole purpose of watching TV...and if I do, I probably have my iPod touch or Nintendo DS close by. On average, I'd bet that I only watch 10 hours a week at home or less
 

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Like most young people today, I don't follow schedules, I follow links. I don't even have cable. And the thing I've noticed since I got rid of Bell ExpressVu many years ago is that I'm much more picky over what I watch. As a result, my television viewing hours have dropped from some 35 hours per week to less than 20 hours per week, or 10 hours during reruns.

Ad that's without the endless, asinine commercials.
 

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What TV?

There were many years that I or my family never owned a TV. For the years when I did, often only one or two channels were available (BBC or CBC.) Even cable TV, for the year or two we had it, only had 11 and later about 20 channels. But unlike today, there was no internet either. There weren't even PCs, cellphones or game machines. It was boring but not he end of the world. I would go to the library to read books, build projects, explore the city or participate in activities with friends. I would say that my TV viewing has only briefly ever been as high as 34 hr/wk. That was due to unusual circumstances. So kids, have sympathy for us "older folks" who were deprived when we were young. ;)
 

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If you read "Reality is Broken" by Jane McGonigal, she points out that those who play video games watch drastically less TV than anyone else. Ofcourse this is because they are in fact gaming. I'm one of those gamers, but I do normally have the TV on in the room when I'm on the computer, guess I just like having white noise. It's very rare that I'll sit down for the sole purpose of watching TV...and if I do, I probably have my iPod touch or Nintendo DS close by. On average, I'd bet that I only watch 10 hours a week at home or less
Increasingly Kartan your behaviour I think is more typical of most folks. The problem is that the guys that measure media behaviour are only measuring whether the TV is on not what else you might be doing. They use the gross measure of the TV being "on" to justify why broadcast TV remains the most important medium to advertisers. Kinda a "not".
 

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In the old days of diaries, people used to write down shows they "normally" watched even if they did not. People used to have the tv while doing housework or other things, not just playing video games.

My point is that ratings have been juiced since television began so I'm not sure anything has changed.
 

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Totally agree Hugh. They used to joke about the active Nielsen boxes that in the States that people would put on PBS and then leave the house to go bowling. A lot of money rides on some pretty questionable measures.
 

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I wonder how they measure this stuff. I mean, what about people who just always have the TV on, but aren't in the room, or are in and out of the room and not really watching, etc. How are these people counted? Because I think there are a lot of people like this.
 

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They do it a bunch of different ways. The "old school" ways are those of the BBM which requires the keeping of a written diary and the other one was to have a box, like a digital set-top box, that actually records what you're watching and for how long. You can imagine the problems with these methods. Nowadays they'll do other kinds of interviews and surveys that ask more detailed questions about what you are doing at the same time as the TV was on.

You can imagine too that it gets hairier as they try and distinguish between other TV-like watching. Streaming through computer, video games, mobile video streams, DVD versus broadcast TV, PVRs, etc. The short answer is, they make it up - it is based upon surveys and assumptions however. Some are better than others, there's no objective standard. It's more what advertisers agree to believe.
 
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