Global TV viewing rises

U.S., Japan have the biggest tube addicts

People worldwide are watching more TV than ever before, despite the lure of the Internet and other alternatives.

The average time spent in front of the box each day rose one minute to three hours, four minutes in 2005, according to figures released Monday.

Americans watched TV for four hours, 37 minutes, up three minutes from 2004 and nearly an 1½ hours more than the global average.

The Japanese were the biggest telly addicts, tuning in for five hours, 11 minutes a day.

Driven by the global success of hit U.S. shows like “CSI” and “Desperate Housewives,” TV series saw their share of top-10 audiences rise from 22% in 2004 to 29% last year, while movies fell back three percentage points to 7%. Fiction repped 44% of the top-10 auds, while reality and other entertainment shows repped 38%.

The statistics, unveiled ahead of next week’s Mip TV mart in Cannes, come from Eurodata TV Worldwide’s annual report “One Television Year in the World,” which covers 74 countries and 2.7 billion viewers.