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ABC Benefits Most from Adding College Viewers to Nielsens

Mar 29, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Primetime TV usage by 18 to 24 year olds has increased by 12 percent since college students living away from home were added to Nielsen Media Research’s audience sample in January.

During late night, viewing in that younger demo is up 9 percent, according to an analysis of Nielsen figures by media buyer Magna Global, and daytime viewing is up 5 percent.

The added viewership could be a boon to the networks because advertisers generally pay premium rates to reach young viewers.

The Magna analysis said that ABC has benefited more than any other networks. Top rated “Grey’s Anatomy” gained three full ratings points in the demo and one in the broader 18-49 year old bracket since the extended sample took effect. ABC’s “Ugly Betty” and “Men in Tree” also gained substantially.

Most late night programs have grown to some degree among both men and adults 18-24 since college viewing was added. NBC’s “Tonight Show,” “Late Night” and “Saturday Night Live” got the biggest number of added viewers, while CBS’s shows have shown the largest percentage gains.

Younger skewing networks such as Adult Swim, Comedy Central, MTV, TBS, and VH1 have also benefited from the addition of student viewing in prime time and late night.

(Editor: Romanelli)