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(Slate)   A new study by Nielsen shows the average American spends 5 hours a day watching live TV. That's crazy, I don't even own a TV   (slate.com) divider line 48
    More: Obvious, Nielsen, Americans, ordinary Americans, live TV, True Detective, digital media  
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517 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 07 Mar 2014 at 9:51 AM (19 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



48 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-03-07 09:52:45 AM
My tv is always on but I'm rarely watching it.
 
2014-03-07 09:53:50 AM
TV is a nickname, subby, and nicknames are for friends.
 
2014-03-07 09:55:19 AM
I only watch obscure Soviet era Czechoslovakian documenataries.
 
2014-03-07 09:56:20 AM
Not unless I'm in a bar for 5 hours... which isn't uncommon.
 
2014-03-07 09:59:16 AM
If they count the radio and music on my computer then I am up around 15 hours of digital media. Hell, I'm surfing the web while listening to the radio, so I can probably exceed 24 hours each day.
 
2014-03-07 10:05:18 AM

HotWingConspiracy: My tv is always on but I'm rarely watching it.


I'm the same way. It's typically background noise when I'm doing something else.
 
2014-03-07 10:05:32 AM
I dont even watch TV.encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com
 
2014-03-07 10:08:28 AM
paging ChipNASA paging ChipNASA

would you please enter in and remind us why YOU don't have a tv


/like the farker
//favorited him as K*ng Sh*t of F*ck Island because for a few weeks that was the main response I saw him post in every thread in one variation or another
 
2014-03-07 10:09:12 AM

MightyPez: HotWingConspiracy: My tv is always on but I'm rarely watching it.

I'm the same way. It's typically background noise when I'm doing something else.


My screen is as gray as a tv turned to a dead channel
 
2014-03-07 10:13:38 AM
As long as the TV is on, I'm not drinking alone.
 
2014-03-07 10:13:58 AM
Seems less for me due to work and having to watch the shows online the next day.
 
2014-03-07 10:16:07 AM
Which is why whenever I hear the excuse, "Sorry, I've been too busy to  (insert simple task here)" I always assume bullshiat.
 
2014-03-07 10:16:49 AM
LIVE TV? I haven't watched a single thing other than sports and an occasional news report live since I got a DVR years and years ago. Why would you?
 
2014-03-07 10:18:02 AM
If we are talking streaming media through the TV then 4 to 5 hours a night on the week nights is about right for me. The weekends could be anywhere from 0 to 10 hours a day depending on what type of weekend I am having.
 
2014-03-07 10:20:35 AM
Even if there happens to be quite a few series on at once, I tend to have them PVRed (or watch via iPlayer or whatever) than watch them live. About the only thing I would watch live would be sporting events, so it would probably vary a lot - it could be 100+ hours in a couple of weeks, and then nothing for a month or two if nothing really catches my attention.
 
2014-03-07 10:35:02 AM
I have four TVs, but none of them can get any channels. They're all for DVDs, gaming, and Netflix.

I do, however, stream a lot of TV on the interwebs.

Thank goodness net neutrality is dead. I must be stopped!
 
2014-03-07 10:38:22 AM
The most recent "live television" that I recall viewing was Mr. Mitt Romney's improvised concession speech, unless video games are considered "live television".
 
2014-03-07 10:41:43 AM

BarryTheMasterOfSandwich: I have four TVs, but none of them can get any channels. They're all for DVDs, gaming, and Netflix.


Yeah, that's still watching TV.
 
2014-03-07 10:43:40 AM
All I use my TV for is as a second monitor to watch stuff that's on my computer from my couch. I don't even have cable TV.

I spend an absurd amount of time on my PC though, whether it be gaming, browsing, or watching shiat on it.
 
2014-03-07 10:47:40 AM
let's see................Roku + USB thumb drive connected to my Router using DLNA + Internet............does that mean "TV"?
 
2014-03-07 10:49:44 AM

Linux_Yes: let's see................Roku + USB thumb drive connected to my Router using DLNA + Internet............does that mean "TV"?



oops, correction:


Roku + USB thumb drive connected to my Router using DLNA + Internet - commercials + $$$...............does that mean "TV"???
 
2014-03-07 10:51:32 AM

gizmokid18: K*ng Sh*t of F*ck Island


king. it's ok, you can say it without fear of censorship or filterpwnage
 
2014-03-07 10:52:48 AM
I call shenanigans.  "Average" American must mean people without full time jobs, because a person who works gets, what, around four hours at home before sleep, if they come home straight from work?  Or do they claim people binge watch SO much on the weekend?

Based on their stats, if you watched 2 solid hours of TV, Monday through Friday, you'd still have to spend 12 hours of each day on Saturday and Sunday to reach their stats.

And that's just LIVE TV.  Add another hour EACH DAY for DVDs, video games, and DVR.

Shenanigans.
 
2014-03-07 10:55:02 AM
I usually have both the TV and computer going. If I need to get work done, I don't turn the TV off; I just flip it to something not completely objectionable and mute it.
 
2014-03-07 11:05:16 AM

weddingsinger: I call shenanigans.  "Average" American must mean people without full time jobs, because a person who works gets, what, around four hours at home before sleep, if they come home straight from work?  Or do they claim people binge watch SO much on the weekend?

Based on their stats, if you watched 2 solid hours of TV, Monday through Friday, you'd still have to spend 12 hours of each day on Saturday and Sunday to reach their stats.

And that's just LIVE TV.  Add another hour EACH DAY for DVDs, video games, and DVR.

Shenanigans.


Your definition of "average" is likely skewed by your peer group.  Sure, this counts the unemployed and retired (who watch a lot more television than workers and make up one-third of the population), but there are also a lot of people, myself included, who get home from work before six and have the television on basically until 11:00.  We're not always watching, but I'd say we average 3-5 hours most nights.

And your numbers for DVDs, video games, and DVR are way off.  Slate links the cross-platform report in the opening sentence, but the average person watches 1 hour PER WEEK on DVD, spends about an hour and a half PER WEEK on a game console (which also includes people who watch Netflix or Hulu on their game console), and about three and a half hours PER WEEK watching time-shifted television.
 
2014-03-07 11:24:13 AM

rugman11: weddingsinger: I call shenanigans.  "Average" American must mean people without full time jobs, because a person who works gets, what, around four hours at home before sleep, if they come home straight from work?  Or do they claim people binge watch SO much on the weekend?

Based on their stats, if you watched 2 solid hours of TV, Monday through Friday, you'd still have to spend 12 hours of each day on Saturday and Sunday to reach their stats.

And that's just LIVE TV.  Add another hour EACH DAY for DVDs, video games, and DVR.

Shenanigans.

Your definition of "average" is likely skewed by your peer group.  Sure, this counts the unemployed and retired (who watch a lot more television than workers and make up one-third of the population), but there are also a lot of people, myself included, who get home from work before six and have the television on basically until 11:00.  We're not always watching, but I'd say we average 3-5 hours most nights.

And your numbers for DVDs, video games, and DVR are way off.  Slate links the cross-platform report in the opening sentence, but the average person watches 1 hour PER WEEK on DVD, spends about an hour and a half PER WEEK on a game console (which also includes people who watch Netflix or Hulu on their game console), and about three and a half hours PER WEEK watching time-shifted television.


First stat in the article is PER DAY, not week, and it lists DVR at 32 minutes (or 3.5 hours per week); DVD at 9 minutes (or about an hour per week), etc.  Those all add up to an hour a day or so, bringing the real "average" up to around 6 hours a day.  REALLY?

Plus, even if you're home and watching for five hours, you have whole masses of people who aren't home at all, or who don't watch TV as much or who have kids with soccer practice, whatever.  Looking at the 35-49 age bracket, at almost 34 hours a week, or 5 hours a day for live TV, seems like prime working/kids age bracket.  Apparently these folks have no time left for errands, always eat in front of the TV, never go out of the house, and stay up late to get all that watching done.  EVERYDAY?!.  Nevermind that you'd think viewership would drop in summer versus winter.

I'm not suggesting it doesn't happen, or that everybody doesn't veg out sometimes, but to say it's TYPICAL behavior for adults seem like absolute malarkey.  Who are all those people I see outside in the evenings, then?
 
2014-03-07 11:24:57 AM
I actually sleep with the tv on.  Can't sleep well otherwise.
 
2014-03-07 11:37:00 AM
I'm not too proud to admit that I watch TV.  Quite a bit of it, in fact.

Basically, if I'm in my home, the TV is probably on.  Sometimes it serves as background noise, sometimes I'm actively watching.

I am fully aware that the people who don't have a TV are 10^20% better than I am and quite frankly I don't give a damn.
 
2014-03-07 12:11:33 PM

weddingsinger: rugman11: weddingsinger: I call shenanigans.  "Average" American must mean people without full time jobs, because a person who works gets, what, around four hours at home before sleep, if they come home straight from work?  Or do they claim people binge watch SO much on the weekend?

Based on their stats, if you watched 2 solid hours of TV, Monday through Friday, you'd still have to spend 12 hours of each day on Saturday and Sunday to reach their stats.

And that's just LIVE TV.  Add another hour EACH DAY for DVDs, video games, and DVR.

Shenanigans.

Your definition of "average" is likely skewed by your peer group.  Sure, this counts the unemployed and retired (who watch a lot more television than workers and make up one-third of the population), but there are also a lot of people, myself included, who get home from work before six and have the television on basically until 11:00.  We're not always watching, but I'd say we average 3-5 hours most nights.

And your numbers for DVDs, video games, and DVR are way off.  Slate links the cross-platform report in the opening sentence, but the average person watches 1 hour PER WEEK on DVD, spends about an hour and a half PER WEEK on a game console (which also includes people who watch Netflix or Hulu on their game console), and about three and a half hours PER WEEK watching time-shifted television.

First stat in the article is PER DAY, not week, and it lists DVR at 32 minutes (or 3.5 hours per week); DVD at 9 minutes (or about an hour per week), etc.  Those all add up to an hour a day or so, bringing the real "average" up to around 6 hours a day.  REALLY?

Plus, even if you're home and watching for five hours, you have whole masses of people who aren't home at all, or who don't watch TV as much or who have kids with soccer practice, whatever.  Looking at the 35-49 age bracket, at almost 34 hours a week, or 5 hours a day for live TV, seems like prime working/kids age bracket.  Apparently these folks have no time left for er ...


Sorry, I misread your initial post and thought you were saying there was an hour per day of each of those activities.  My bad.

Secondly, labor participation rate for 35-49 year olds is only about 80% (82.6% for 35-44, 80.2% for 44-54), so about one in five people in that age group isn't working.  That's not an aberration.  You're also forgetting about sports.  20-30 million people watch every single NFL game.  That's 7-10% of the population glued to the television for 11 hours per week just watching NFL football (even more when you factor in the 15 million people watching Monday Night Football and the 8 or 9 million people watching Thursday Night Football).

I think our interpretation of "average" tends to be heavily skewed by the people we surround ourselves with (i.e. your "people I see outside in the evenings").  For example, did you know that less than half of Americans are actually employed full-time?  So your "average" American actually doesn't work full-time; she's unemployed, retired, a stay-at-home parent, in school, working part-time, or doing something else that doesn't have her working.  Even among 30-49 year-olds, that number is only around 60%.  So if you're a college-educated 30-49 year-old then the vast majority of your friends are probably going to have full-time jobs and probably, like you, not watch much television.  But you're only barely "typical," and the truth is that 4 out of 10 people in your age group aren't like you.  They don't work full-time and have a lot more time to watch television.
 
2014-03-07 12:26:38 PM
What is a study? I've never heard of that.
 
2014-03-07 12:34:29 PM
Does it count if my daughter is watching "Hey Jessie" and I'm in the room folding laundry?

'Cause I'd rather be doing just about anything else.
 
2014-03-07 12:35:35 PM
Yeah, but it's that "average" part that gets me.  So here is what the Bureau of Labor & Statistics says (http://www.bls.gov/tus/ )
Average hours per day the civilian population age 15 and over spent in selected primary activities
Leisure and sports
Weekdays: 4.85
Weekends and holidays: 6.57


Leisure time on an average day Minutes Watching TV 170 (2.8 hours)
Socializing and communicating 39
Reading 20
Sports, exercise, and recreation 19
Playing games; using computer for leisure 25
Other leisure activities 18
Relaxing and thinking 17
Total leisure and sports time 308 (5.1 hours)

So that is less than 5 hours for everything that includes TV, but also anything else fun.  And that includes students, senior citizens, unemployed, et al.  The difference being, Nielson counts every second a TV is turned on (which still seems high) versus time actually watched, like this.

Nielson is a bunch of filthy liars.
 
2014-03-07 12:46:22 PM
My dad probably wrecks the curve. His TV is on nearly 24/7. When he comes home (which isn't often now that he's retired), the TV comes on before the jacket comes off. Then my sister is up late, and leaves it on when she goes to sleep.
 
2014-03-07 12:56:11 PM

weddingsinger: Yeah, but it's that "average" part that gets me.  So here is what the Bureau of Labor & Statistics says (http://www.bls.gov/tus/ )
Average hours per day the civilian population age 15 and over spent in selected primary activities
Leisure and sports
Weekdays: 4.85
Weekends and holidays: 6.57

Leisure time on an average day Minutes Watching TV 170 (2.8 hours)
Socializing and communicating 39
Reading 20
Sports, exercise, and recreation 19
Playing games; using computer for leisure 25
Other leisure activities 18
Relaxing and thinking 17
Total leisure and sports time 308 (5.1 hours)

So that is less than 5 hours for everything that includes TV, but also anything else fun.  And that includes students, senior citizens, unemployed, et al.  The difference being, Nielson counts every second a TV is turned on (which still seems high) versus time actually watched, like this.

Nielson is a bunch of filthy liars.


Not necessarily liars, just bad at deducting useful information.

The TV is probably turned on 5 hours a day, on average. When you get home to when you turn everything off for the night.

Balance the no-TV hipsters with retired folks who really do nothing but "watch" tv or zone out/sleep with it at max volume...

But 5 hours a day of watching....nope.

A LOT of people leave it on, news, weather, educational.  Same for businesses.

Sure, there are still a lot of people that do watch right around that much, but I would wager it's a smaller ratio than in the past.

*shrugs*

Averages are kind of meaningless when you get into data sums that large that have variables for many reasons, indeed, trivial.
 
2014-03-07 01:36:00 PM

James Rieper: Does it count if my daughter is watching "Hey Jessie" and I'm in the room folding laundry?

'Cause I'd rather be doing just about anything else.


Fess up, you'd rather be doing Jessie.
 
2014-03-07 01:46:30 PM

Wellon Dowd: Fess up, you'd rather be doing Jessie.


No, but I do laugh when they try to hide her boobs.  I know it's a kid's show, but it's like Disney thinks they're going to escape and cause a panic.
 
2014-03-07 01:55:29 PM

James Rieper: Wellon Dowd: Fess up, you'd rather be doing Jessie.

No, but I do laugh when they try to hide her boobs.  I know it's a kid's show, but it's like Disney thinks they're going to escape and cause a panic.


This season Modern Family finally gave up trying to hide the younger daughter's assets. The boob tape bill was consuming almost half the costuming budget.

Let's just cover that up.

i.imgur.com
 
2014-03-07 02:03:32 PM

weddingsinger: I call shenanigans.  "Average" American must mean people without full time jobs, because a person who works gets, what, around four hours at home before sleep, if they come home straight from work?  Or do they claim people binge watch SO much on the weekend?

Based on their stats, if you watched 2 solid hours of TV, Monday through Friday, you'd still have to spend 12 hours of each day on Saturday and Sunday to reach their stats.

And that's just LIVE TV.  Add another hour EACH DAY for DVDs, video games, and DVR.

Shenanigans.


This.
 
2014-03-07 02:27:27 PM

weddingsinger: Yeah, but it's that "average" part that gets me.  So here is what the Bureau of Labor & Statistics says (http://www.bls.gov/tus/ )
Average hours per day the civilian population age 15 and over spent in selected primary activities
Leisure and sports
Weekdays: 4.85
Weekends and holidays: 6.57

Leisure time on an average day Minutes Watching TV 170 (2.8 hours)
Socializing and communicating 39
Reading 20
Sports, exercise, and recreation 19
Playing games; using computer for leisure 25
Other leisure activities 18
Relaxing and thinking 17
Total leisure and sports time 308 (5.1 hours)

So that is less than 5 hours for everything that includes TV, but also anything else fun.  And that includes students, senior citizens, unemployed, et al.  The difference being, Nielson counts every second a TV is turned on (which still seems high) versus time actually watched, like this.

Nielson is a bunch of filthy liars.


Well, first, I'd point out that the People Meters require people to "check in" with a little clicker every half-hour or so to indicate that they're still watching.  So Nielsen doesn't "count very second a TV is turned on."  They do require the viewer to interact.

Second, there are two problems I would point to with the BLS data.  The first is that it's self-reported.  Nielsen discovered years ago that when people self-report, they consistently under-estimate the amount of time they spend watching television, especially time spent watching television alone.  Second, it only counts the "primary activity," which means that people who watch TV while doing other things (say folding laundry, taking care of the kids, getting ready for bed, talking on the phone, playing on the computer, etc.) don't get counted as watching TV but as those other things.  For example, according to the BLS, the average person spends 8.5 hours per day sleeping while the National Sleep Foundation estimates that number (at least for weeknights) at 6.7.  I may be in bed from 10-6:45 every night, but I usually don't fall asleep until 11:30 or so because I'm watching television.  Is that sleeping or watching television?  It probably depends on the interviewer and he interviewee's interpretation.

If it's going to come down to people self-reporting their time spent doing activities (with no multi-tasking allowed) vs. Nielsen's People Meters tracking viewing, I'm going to go with the People Meters.
 
2014-03-07 02:48:10 PM
rugman11:
Well, first, I'd point out that the People Meters require people to "check in" with a little clicker every half-hour or so to indicate that they're still watching.  So Nielsen doesn't "count very second a TV is turned on."  They do require the viewer to interact.

Second, there are two problems I would point to with the BLS data.  The first is that it's self-reported.  Nielsen discovered years ago that when people self-report, they consistently under-estimate the amount of time they spend watching television, especially time spent watching television alone.  Second, it only counts the "primary activity," which means that people who watch TV while doing other things (say folding laundry, taking care of the kids, getting ready for bed, talking on the phone, playing on the computer, etc.) don't get counted as watching TV but as those other things.  For example, according to the BLS, the average person spends 8.5 hours per day sleeping while the National Sleep Foundation estimates that number (at least for weeknights) at 6.7.  I may be in bed from 10-6:45 ever ...


Nielson still uses 2 million paper diaries.

I still stand by my suggestion that 6 hours a day of total viewing time is almost absurd.  Of course there are people who don't watch much.  Some don't watch every single day.  So to get an AVERAGE of 6 hours a day, some people have to a lot more.  For every person who only watched 1 TV show today, somebody else has to watch 11 hours.

No way.  You could have told me that heavy watchers average 6 hours a day, but not the average adult across the board.
 
2014-03-07 03:46:14 PM

Buttknuckle: I actually sleep with the tv on.  Can't sleep well otherwise.


This. The dreams/nightmares I have while sleep with the ID channel on are crazy.
 
2014-03-07 03:59:02 PM
"Live tv"

inigomontoya.jpg
 
kgf
2014-03-07 05:16:28 PM
Hey subbie, better consult a dictionary on what "Average" means.  Some retired old person is watching TV 10 hours a day to balance out your 0 hours a day, thereby averaging 5.
 
2014-03-07 05:24:57 PM
Lemme see:  my TV consists of SportsCenter, a game...and maybe a show I want to watch.

If you discount the game then I'm watching less than what Nielsen says the average viewer watches.
 
2014-03-07 05:55:03 PM
I watch a couple of shows a week, maybe one hockey game. I doubt I average 5 hours a week, let alone a day. My wife makes up for it, though.
 
2014-03-07 06:06:18 PM

Wellon Dowd: James Rieper: Wellon Dowd: Fess up, you'd rather be doing Jessie.

No, but I do laugh when they try to hide her boobs.  I know it's a kid's show, but it's like Disney thinks they're going to escape and cause a panic.

This season Modern Family finally gave up trying to hide the younger daughter's assets. The boob tape bill was consuming almost half the costuming budget.

Let's just cover that up.

[i.imgur.com image 500x699]


I never pictured her as having large assets. Guess I need to GIS for photographic evidence.

/TV is almost always on when home, even sleep with it on
 
2014-03-07 08:46:12 PM
When did the meaning of "live" TV change?  Has Lorne Michaels been notified?
 
2014-03-07 09:11:27 PM
I just filled out one of those Nelson booklets. The only day I spent that long on front of the tv was Sunday when I was hungover and spent the day watching lifetime movies.

Yes, I felt shame writing that down.

Very sorry.

Also watched walking dead... And didn't watch one reality show. So I guess I've got that going for me.
 
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