Ever been at a party where someone said, “We never watch live TV anymore”? Well, anecdotal evidence aside, most shows are watched live. According to the most recent Nielsen Cross-Platform Report, 87.2% of broadcast TV is watched live, 5.5% is watched later that same day, 6.1% is watched within 1 to 7 days later, and 1.1% is watched 7 to 29 days later (a category called “Beyond 7” by Nielsen).

Viewer behavior does vary by program or type of program – obviously sports broadcasts are even more likely to be watched live than other programs, while the top 10 shows specifically and science-fiction shows in general have higher “Beyond 7” viewing than other programs.

Consumers have been slow to shift away from live TV viewing, which is down just 2 minutes a day from 4 hours and 26 minutes a day in Q3 2008 to 4 hours and 24 minutes a day in Q3 2012, according to Nielsen. The decline as a percent of all viewing is larger, as overall time spent watching the TV (through DVR playback, DVD playback and video game consoles) has increased over the same time period by 6 minutes, to 5 hours 9 minutes a day.

How much time is spent watching video from the Internet? According to MediaPost, Nielsen estimates the average TV viewer spends 5 hours a week doing this – another 43 minutes a day watching video.

Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

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Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.