FCC: Household, Personal TV Usage at Record Highs

Each year the FCC sends a report to Congress that attempts to assess the state of the video market in America. This week, the commission (never at a loss for words when it comes to titles) adopted its "12th Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming" and reports that TV viewing, for better or for worse, is at an all-time high. While only a small portion of that viewing is HD, thus far, it at least goes to show that despite a myriad of competing media, "television viewing," per se, is holding its own.

In part, this is what the FCC said about the state of TV viewing today:

"On average, we spend close to 30 percent of our day engaged in some activity involving media, with television viewing the dominant media activity. For the September 2004 -- September 2005 television season, the average household tuned into TV for 8 hours, 11 minutes a day. This is almost 3 percent higher than the previous season, more than 12 percent higher than 10 years ago, and the highest level observed since television viewing was first measured by Nielsen Media Research in the 1950s.

"Within the same period, the average person watched 4 hours, 32 minutes each day, again a record high. In this year's Video Competition Report, the FCC finds that the competitive [cable and DBS] market continues to provide consumers with increased choice, better picture quality, and greater technological innovation.

"[Our] report concludes that [today] almost all consumers may opt to receive video services from over-the-air broadcast television, a cable service, and at least two DBS providers. In addition, a growing number of consumers can access video programming through digital broadcast spectrum, fiber to the node or to the premises, or video over the Internet."