Nielsen finds well-educated viewers watch less TV in the morning

A Nielsen study says households with lower education levels are likely to watch more morning television, like "Good Morning America."
(Heidi Gutman / Associated Press)

Broadcast TV networks have been focused on the morning show and late-night wars but well-educated viewers seem less interested in television during those periods of the day.

A forthcoming study by ratings giant Nielsen has found that in homes where the head of the household completed four or more years of college, family members watch 48 minutes of morning television a day, on average, compared with homes where the head of household’s highest education was high school. In those homes, viewers watched a daily average of one hour and 16 minutes of morning television. That represents a more than 50% increase in morning television viewing in homes with lower education levels.

“Overall, the report shows that higher education and income levels were correlated with less TV usage, particularly at the early and late parts of the day,” Nielsen said.


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In the late-night block, homes headed by an adult who completed four years of college watch a nightly average of 52 minutes of television. Homes where the head of household had a high school education spent one hour and 13 minutes, on average, watching late-night TV.

Prime-time television seemed to be the great equalizer.

Nielsen found that viewers in homes with a college-educated head of household watched one hour and 43 minutes of television, on average, during the prime-time block, which Nielsen defines as 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the Eastern and Pacific time zones. Prime-time starts an hour earlier in the Central and Mountain time zones.

Homes headed by an adult who attended some college watched two hours and nine minutes of prime-time programming. Households with adults who did not attend college watched less on average -- 1 hour and 51 minutes a night.

Nielsen plans to release the full report later this week.


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