So it turns out that in the U.S., at least, now that the Olympics are over, the mega television audiences have drifted away. From the Associated Press:
NEW YORK (AP) — With the Olympics gone, so are many of broadcast television’s prime-time viewers.
No broadcast program exceeded 10 million viewers last week, the Nielsen company said Tuesday. NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” on Tuesday was closest, finishing just under that mark.
Between “Talent” and an exhibition football game last Saturday, NBC kept the crown as the most-watched network for one more week, after taking the previous three weeks because of the Olympics. NBC also debuted a new season of “Grimm” and the military-themed reality show “Stars Earn Stripes” that both finished among Nielsen’s top 20, but with less than six million viewers each.
This heartens me, for my perception of TV viewing practices is that there are a helluva lot of people for whom watching television is reflexive. You know: Dinner is done, the table is cleared, time to watch TV — so turn television on and find something barely tolerable to watch. Contrast with: My favorite show is on tonight, and I am making plans to watch it. This news gives me hope that perhaps fewer people watch TV out of habit than I thought.
So here’s the question: Do you turn on the TV out of habit, hoping to find something to watch, or only when you know there’s something you don’t want to miss? Or maybe it’s something in the middle? When I want company, for instance, I’ll leave an all-news channel on… at least till it starts annoying the hell outta me.
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