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.