Nielsen Reports On Black Viewing

In the most detailed report ever compiled on the viewing habits of blacks, A.C. Nielsen Co. reveals that, on average, black households watched a staggering 72 hours of tv a week in November 1989, 49% more than the “all other” category.

The survey, covering various ratings over the four sweep months between November ’89 and July ’90 and based on the peoplemeter sample in 4,000 households in the U.S., shows that the average black home, compared with the “all other” category, has:

* 49% more kids and teens (from 2 to 17 years old);

* 5% more women;

* 2% more adults 18 to 49;

* 17% fewer men;

* 20% fewer adults 50-plus.

Adult females watch more tv than any other demographic category within black households, according to Nielsen. For example, in November ’89, adult black women saw nine hours and 12 minutes of weekday tv (10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday) in a typical week, compared to five hours and 30 minutes among all other adult women.

In the category of teenage latenight viewing, blacks between the ages of 12 and 17 watched 50% more tv during latenight time periods than all other teens, according to the report.

The study also found that black households are far bigger fans of sitcoms and suspense/mystery shows than “other” homes. The 40 sitcoms that ran in November ’89, for example, averaged a 19.0 rating among blacks and only a 14.2 among all other homes.

The 10 suspense shows/mysteries during the same period averaged a 17.9 among blacks and a 13.1 among all others.

The highest-rated net primetime series among black households were fairly consistent over the four separate sweeps periods: NBC’s “A Different World,” “The Cosby Show,” “Amen,” “227,” “Empty Nest,” “Cheers” and “In The Heat Of The Night.”

Nielsen says it will expand its monthly National Audience Demo-graphic report to include 20 age and sex categories within black households as of fall 1991.

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