TV Watching Shot Up 17% Amongst Americans in 2020, Verizon Finds

Watching TV
(Image credit: Comcast)

SALT LAKE CITY—People turned on the TV more amid the stay-at-home-orders caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and has put together a state-by-state breakdown of how much time Americans spent watching TV this past year.

Overall, Americans watched 17% more TV in 2020 than they did in 2019, with no state earning an average of less than two-and-a-half hours per day.

Mississippi led the way this year, with its residents averaging nearly four hours and 23 minutes per day watching TV. Compared to 2019’s report, Mississippi increased by 25%, allowing it to knock off West Virginia, which topped the list in 2019.

Joining Mississippi in the top 10 was Arkansas (in hours:minutes:seconds, 4:20:24), West Virginia (4:18:36), Alabama (4:16:12), Louisiana (4:07:12), Rhode Island (4:02:24), Kentucky (3:52:48), Nevada (3:51:00), Georgia (3:49:48) and Michigan (3:46:12).

(Image credit: VerizonSpecials)

Rhode Island, with a 45% increase year-over-year, went from 15th in 2019 to sixth. Inversely, Delaware, which along with West Virginia and Louisiana was in the top three in 2019, fell out of the top 10 completely.

Alaska was the state with the lowest average time watching TV in 2020 with two hours, 38 minutes and 24 seconds, followed by Utah (2:54:36), Idaho (3:05:24), Minnesota (3:06:00), Washington (3:09:36), New Mexico (3:12:00), California (3:13:12), Montana (3:15:00), Oregon (3:15:00) and Colorado (3:16:48).

Even though Alaska watched the least amount of TV this year, VerizonSpecials reports that it still watched 25 more minutes of TV than Utah did in 2019, which was the least in that report.

Across the country, sports was the most-searched TV genre.

The full report is available on (opens in new tab).