Study: Pandemic speeded trends away from live TV viewing

Aug 17, 2021, 2:18 AM | Updated: 4:29 pm
Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn warms up in the outfield before a baseball game against the Ne...

Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn warms up in the outfield before a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021 in Dyersville, Iowa. The Yankees and White Sox are playing at a temporary stadium in the middle of a cornfield at the Field of Dreams movie site, the first Major League Baseball game held in Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

              Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn warms up in the outfield before a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021 in Dyersville, Iowa. The Yankees and White Sox are playing at a temporary stadium in the middle of a cornfield at the Field of Dreams movie site, the first Major League Baseball game held in Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

NEW YORK (AP) — The pandemic accelerated changes in how people use their televisions, further reducing the dominance in traditional live viewing of what networks are showing, a new study has found.

Nearly two-thirds of people said in June that they viewed free video on demand content on their televisions once a week, up from 46% in February 2020, according to Hub Entertainment Research.

Hub also found that 39% of people said they paid to watch a movie at least once a week, and 39% also said they paid to watch a TV show. In both cases, that doubled the percentage of people who said the same thing before the COVID-19 shutdown.

“People had a lot more time so they had a vacuum to fill,” said Jon Giegengack, Hub principal and founder. “The people who didn’t get laid off had more money to spend.”

While these trends predated the pandemic, the time at home speeded things up, Giegengack said. Forty percent of the people who own smart TVs bought them since the initial COVID-19 shutdown, he said. Hub surveyed 3,000 U.S. consumers aged 14 to 74 who watch TV at least an hour a week.

The shift is also illustrated in the sharp declines of people watching live network television over the past few years.

Traditional television ratings by the Nielsen company illustrated two winners last week. Fox’s broadcast of the “Field of Dreams” baseball game from a field built out of an Iowa cornfield was the third most-watched program all week.

HBO said Sunday’s finale of its six-episode limited series, “The White Lotus,” was seen by nearly 2 million people across all formats. The viewership was more than triple what it was for the series debut.

In an otherwise quiet TV week, ABC led with an average of 2.69 million viewers in prime time. NBC had 2.65 million, CBS had 2.4 million, Fox had 2.2 million, Univision had 1.3 million, Ion Television had 1.1 million and Telemundo had 1 million.

Fox News Channel led the cable networks, with an average of 2.2 million viewers in prime time. MSNBC had 1.29 million, HGTV had 1.14 million, TLC had 1.05 million and Hallmark had 829,000.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening news ratings race, with an average of 7.8 million viewers last week. NBC’s “Nightly News” was second with 6.5 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 4.7 million.

For the week of Aug. 9-15, the 20 most-watched programs, their networks and viewerships:

1. “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 7.14 million.

2. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 6.51 million.

3. “Field of Dreams Game: N.Y. Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox,” Fox, 5.85 million.

4. “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 5.67 million.

5. “The Bachelorette,” ABC, 4.6 million.

6. “Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 4.5 million.

7. “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 3.96 million.

8. “Big Brother” (Thursday), CBS, 3.86 million.

9. “Big Brother” (Sunday), CBS, 3.78 million.

10. “The $100,000 Pyramid,” ABC, 3.68 million.

11. “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” ABC, 3.59 million.

12. ABC News Special: War in Afghanistan, ABC, 3.47 million.

13. “American Ninja Warrior,” NBC, 3.45 million.

14. “NCIS,” CBS, 3.41 million.

15. “Press Your Luck,” ABC, 3.28 million.

16. “Field of Dreams Post-Game,” Fox, 3.15 million.

17. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Monday), Fox News, 3.124 million.

18. “The Neighborhood,” CBS, 3.118 million.

19. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Tuesday), Fox News, 3.1 million.

20. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Thursday), Fox News, 2.91 million.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2018, file photo Amazon Prime boxes are loaded on a cart for delivery in Ne...
Haleluya Hadero, Associated Press

Amazon says it had its biggest Thanksgiving shopping weekend

Amazon said Wednesday it had its biggest ever Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend, aided by a record number of consumers looking for deals online amid high inflation.
23 hours ago
A woman uses her phone in front of monitors showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm w...
Associated Press

Asian shares gain after Fed chair signals slower rate hikes

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares advanced in Asia on Thursday after a rally on Wall Street spurred by the Federal Reserve chair’s comments on easing the pace of interest rate hikes to tame inflation. Signs that China may be shifting its approach to containing COVID-19 outbreaks to focus more on vaccinations also helped drive buying of […]
23 hours ago
FILE - A man enters a gun shop in Salem, Ore., on Feb. 19, 2021. Voters in Oregon passed one of the...
Associated Press

Tough Oregon gun law faces legal challenge, could be delayed

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Mid-term voters in Oregon narrowly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, buoying the hopes of gun control supporters, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate and ban on high-capacity magazines now faces a lawsuit that could put it on ice just days before it’s set to take effect. […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Protesters hold up blank papers and chant slogans as they march in protest in Beijing, Sunda...
Associated Press

Chinese users play cat-and-mouse with censors amid protests

HONG KONG (AP) — Videos of hundreds protesting in Shanghai started to appear on WeChat Saturday night. Showing chants about removing COVID-19 restrictions and demanding freedom, they would only stay up for only minutes before being censored. Elliot Wang, a 26-year-old in Beijing, was amazed. “I started refreshing constantly, and saving videos, and taking screenshots […]
23 hours ago
A woman shows her inked finger after casting her vote during the first phase of Gujarat state legis...
Associated Press

India PM Modi’s home state Gujarat votes in key local polls

NEW DELHI (AP) — Voters in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat cast ballots Thursday in crucial local elections, a vote that is seen as a barometer of his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s popularity ahead of a 2024 general election in India. The polls are the first of two phases of voting in […]
23 hours ago
FILE - A woman supporting abortion-rights holds a sign outside the South Carolina Statehouse on Jul...
Associated Press

Abortion rights groups look to next fights after 2022 wins

CHICAGO (AP) — Emboldened by the results of November’s midterms, abortion rights supporters say they are preparing for even bigger fights in state legislatures and pivotal elections to come, including 2024 races for Congress and president. Victories for abortion rights ballot measures and candidates who support abortion provided a roadmap for how to win future […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSPA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Study: Pandemic speeded trends away from live TV viewing