The number of people watching TV is falling off a cliff

It seems like people just aren’t watching TV anymore.

A report from AdAge on Wednesday paints a pretty bleak picture of Tuesday’s overnight TV ratings, which come during one of the industry’s most important weeks of the year as new shows are rolled out on the major networks.

AdAge, citing figures from Nielsen, reported that every returning drama that aired Tuesday night saw viewers decline by dougle-digits while debuts were a “mixed bag.”

But aside the performance of individual shows, the number of people using TV in the coveted 18-49 demographic was down 8% against the same time last year, and for the first two nights this week usage is off 10%.

AdAge also noted that among millennial conumsers (18-24 year-olds), viewing is down 20% against last year, with 24% fewer men in this age group watching TV. The number of 18-34 year-old men watching TV is down 18% compared to the same period last year.

Over the summer, there was a broad concern regarding cable companies and a loss of subscribers to services like Netflix and Hulu.

And a report from Wall Street analysts over the summer said TV networks were stuffing their airwaves with commercials in an attempt to prop up revenue. That report said ratings were down 9% over the prior year through July with ad loads correspondingly increasing by 10%.

Back in August we highlighted this chart from analysts at Pacific Crest that showed the declined in cable subscribers, and the disappointing ratings from this week confirm that interest in TV is simply not what it used to be.

(via Carl Quintanilla)

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