Nielsen News: Time spent with media and sports viewing during the time of COVID-19

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Staying put: Consumers forced indoors during crisis spend more time on media

Staying home amid concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is bound to affect media consumption habits. In fact, staying put in our homes can lead to almost a 60% increase in the amount of content we watch in some cases and potentially more depending on the reasons. Considering that consumers around the globe are already leaning into the growing array of content options and channels, a 60% increase is significant.

Media consumption in the U.S. is already at historical highs. As reported in the most recent Nielsen Total Audience report, Americans are already spending just shy of 12 hours each day with media platforms. What’s more, three-fourths of U.S. consumers are broadening their media options with streaming subscriptions and TV-connected devices.

During crisis events, however, be it snowstorms, hurricanes or a global pandemic, media users ramp up their media consumption to stay informed, kill time, find solace and stay in touch with others.

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In the „new normal“ of Covid-19, local TV news proves to be the medium of choice for news and information

As concerns and restrictions around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) heighten in the U.S., consumers are gravitating to local news outlets to stay informed about the impact of the pandemic on their communities. While the U.S. began to experience the impact later than other parts of the world, a recent Nielsen analysis highlights a notable spike in local news viewing between early February and early March.

For persons aged two and older, local news experienced a 7% viewership lift between early February and the week of March 9. Among persons 25-54, the spike was higher, at more than 10%. Perhaps most interesting however, is that the lift among younger persons aged 2-17 was 20%.

Based on historic human behavior during crises, the rise in local news viewing is not surprising. As COVID-19 began its spread across the U.S., rising local news viewership tracked alongside the regions where the most cases have been reported.

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During Covid-19 sports viewers are still a scoring opportunity for brands and media owners

It’s no secret that leagues, media owners, marketers and even the athletes themselves are in a tight spot, considering global sports sponsorship deals alone represented almost a $50 billion industry last year, and 37%, or over $17 billion, were tied to deals in the U.S. according to Nielsen Sports.

All players in the sports business should be thinking about how to maintain brand equity and awareness with sports viewers. Even though live sports are on hold, fans are hungry for content. That’s why it’s crucial that brands and sellers of media know where, how and what these consumers are viewing as a way to reach and maintain relationships with them. After all, this is the same segment that has helped live sports events rise to the top of the TV telecast charts year after year.

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Aussie sports fans are getting their fix on social media amid live event shutdown

While sports stadiums around Australia continue to gather dust due to the COVID-19 lockdown, sports fans are still finding a way to get their sporting fix. In fact, video views of sports content on social platforms is actually up, despite the lack of actual live sporting events.

In the absence of televised sports, fans have turned to social media to stay connected with their favourite leagues, teams and athletes.

While the total amount of owned video content published by leagues, teams and athletes was down (-18%), views per video increased by 35%, demonstrating fans’ eagerness to stay connected with their favourite teams and athletes.

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