Social Distancing: Bringing People Back to an Old Friend

Americans are being asked to stay inside during the Covid-19 outbreak and where are they going to stay informed and entertained? Television! And “television” comes in many forms – broadcast, streaming and digital.


Who is Watching?

Throughout March 2020 Pennsylvania’s reaction to the Coronavirus has been to steadily close businesses and limit residents’ activities. On April 1, 2020, Governor Wolf placed all Pennsylvanians under a stay at home order. The social distancing rules are resulting in increased TV viewing. Viewers are watching TV through a variety of platforms: LIVE through their cable provider or "over the air", Online through Apps and Streaming with Subscription Services. Looking at young adult viewers in the key demographic of Adults 18-34, more of them are viewing traditional TV now than they did in February.

These young adults 18-34 are doing the once unthinkable (for their generation) - watching more LOCAL news, showing an increase of almost 82,000!

And they are streaming too - here’s the comparison between February and the last two weeks of March with the biggest gains at 3:00pm and 9:00pm.

Source for all data: Pittsburgh Nielsen Media Research, February 2020 and March 16-31, 2020

Projected Views

Experts estimate television viewing growth to continue as more people stay in their homes amid travel restrictions, including quarantines in the Pittsburgh area. Primetime PUT (People Using Television) levels as well as total viewers have been up every day with strong week-to-week gains on both Saturday and Sunday night


According to the NY Post:

Increased usage was even more striking in Nielsen’s measurements of streaming. During the week of March 16, Nielsen said that U.S. consumers streamed 156.1 billion minutes of content. That was more than double the 71.3 billion minutes streamed during the same week a year earlier, and up from the 116.4 billion minutes for the week of March 2 this year.

A newly updated Nielsen report says that “staying put in our homes can lead to almost a 60 percent increase in the amount of content we watch in some cases" (

What does this mean for YOUR BUSINESS?

The concept is quite a result of people staying in their homes, television ratings are sky rocketing. Not only are viewers turning on their Televisions, but they are paying closer attention more than ever. Every show, every jingle, every announcement, every commercial, viewers are glued to what is being said on their screens. In these unorthodox times, there is no better moment to send your company's message, than now.

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