TV VIEWING CONTINUES TO RISE
Despite competition from the Internet, a myriad of videogame platforms, cheap DVD rentals via Netflix, RedBox, and video-on-demand, broadcast and cable viewing actually increased slightly in 2010, according to Nielsen Research. As reported in Sunday’s New York Times, the average American watched 34 hours of television programming a week, up about 1 percent from 2009. And while younger viewers were increasingly being drawn to cable fare, cable networks offered few shows that could compete with those presented by the broadcast networks. The Times observed that NBC, the lowest-rated broadcast network, averaged twice the number of viewers as its corporate sibling, USA Network, the highest-rated cable network. And while MTV’s Jersey Shore and AMC’s The Walking Dead may have received more media attention, the top-rated new show in 2010 was CBS’s revival of Hawaii Five-0. For the television news channels, the news was bad — the news about them, that is. All of them lost viewers in 2010, but none so many as CNN, which saw its numbers plunge 34 percent, putting it behind MSNBC for the first time in total viewers. The Times also noted that VH1 and the Hallmark Channel lost more than 25 percent of their viewers.