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Average U.S. home receives 104.2 TV channels

The number of TV channels that the average U.S. home receives has now reached 104.2, according to new data from Nielsen Media Research.

That's an increase of almost eight channels since 2005 and a record level. As the number of channels available to a household increases, so does the number of channels tuned, the survey found. In 2006, the average household tuned to 15.7, or 15.1 percent, of the 104.2 channels available for at least 10 minutes per week.

As to programming, general dramas still dominate the broadcast networks program lineups, comprising 50 percent (67 of 134) of the primetime programs, an increase of four programs since last year. The 30-second commercial is still the television advertising standard in primetime, accounting for 57 percent of all commercial units, Nielsen said.

In other Nielson research from TVB, it was found that more Americans are receiving video programming via satellite and other "alternate delivery systems" than ever before. MSOs lost 2.3 million subscribers, and wired cable's penetration percentage hit a 17-year low, according to Nielsen data for February 2007.

The number of wired cable subscribers dropped to 68.3 million in February from 70.6 million a year earlier. Direct broadcast satellite delivery is now estimated at 25.2 percent, up from 21 percent in February 2006.