Nielsen adds to universe

NEW YORK — Add another million households to the ratings pie.

Nielsen Media Research on Monday made its annual adjustment to TV household estimate, upping the total U.S. TV universe from 97 million to 98 million households. The new figure thus makes each ratings point equivalent to 980,000 households, and is effective from Sept. 1 through the 1997-98 season.

Demographic segments were similarly adjusted to account for increasing population:

The total number of viewers 2 and older is now 254.1 million, up from 251.3 million;

the number of women 18-plus viewers grows to 100.6 million from 99.5 million;

men 18-plus goes to 92.3 million from 91.1 million;

teens 12-17 is upped to 22.1 million from 21.9 million;

and the kids 2-11 figure expands to 39.2 million from 38.9 million.

The increasing universe estimates help offset steady ratings erosion, leading some networks to lean on the pure total-viewers sample.

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