Nielsen reports slight increase in TV households

The number of U.S. TV households is now estimated to be 111.4 million, a 1.1 percent increase from a year ago, according to Nielsen Media Research. However, behind the overall increase were some major shifts in market dominance as southern and western areas of the nation showed significant population growth.

Nielsen's estimates — projected to Jan. 1, 2007 — will be used for the entire 2006-2007 TV season. The number of viewers age 2 or above increased by 1.1 percent to 283.5 million. One of the fastest growing demographics was baby boomers ages 43 to 61, which increased by nearly 4 percent. Viewers ages 18 to 24 also increased by 2 percent.

Of the 60 markets that moved up in Nielsen's Designated Market Area (DMA) rankings, more than half are located in the southern or western regions of the United States.

Hurricane Katrina took another toll on New Orleans. As a result of the storm, the New Orleans DMA is now estimated to contain 566,980 TV households, down from 672,150 last year. New Orleans is now ranked as the 54th largest DMA, down from 43rd a year ago.

Within the top 10 markets, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose moved to fifth and Dallas/Ft. Worth moved to sixth. Las Vegas moved up five spots to 43rd.