Americans watching more TV

Television viewing in American homes has reached a record high, averaging 6 hours and 48 minutes a day during the 1981-82 season. According to the latest (1983) Nielsen Report on Television, just issued, the Nielsen Television Services, which provides continuing estimates of TV viewing, reports that:

* TV usage is greatest among households with three or more people, among pay cable subscribers, and households with under-18-year-olds.

* The largest audience - nearly 25 million people - was attracted by feature films. Close behind were suspense and mystery dramas and situation comedies, with around 24 million viewers each.

* Sunday evening continues to attract the largest viewing audience.

* Women make up the largest segment of prime-time audiences. Older women view the most; female teens the least.

* Some 83.3 million households have television of some sort. And 98 percent of all homes have at least one TV set. Eighty-nine percent of households with TV have color; 55 percent own more than one set.

* Although 67 percent of all TV households have nine or more channels of programming from which to choose, that does not mean they choose to watch them all. Those with nine or 10 channels view an average of only 5.3 of them during the week.

* In general, households subscribing to pay cable services view more television of all sorts than noncable or basic-cable homes.

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