Nielsen TV HHs Grow 1.5%; South And West Gain

TV households on the rise, particularly in south and west, Baltimore on the decline.

Nielsen estimates total U.S. TV households will increase 1.5% for the 2008-09 season, experience growth in the South and West, and that Baltimore is the biggest designated market area (DMA) to experience a significant decline, in updated TV universe figures issued Thursday.

 The new figures will be used for national ratings effective Sept. 1, for meter local market ratings Sept. 27 and for the November diary book in non-metered markets.

 Nielsen says that U.S. TV households will rise to 114.5 million, up from 112.8 million in the prior TV season, reflecting the 1.5% hike. Nielsen’s estimate of persons ages 2+ in U.S. TV households will rise 1.3% to 290 million.

 The Asian TV household base experienced 4.4% growth and Hispanic 4.3% growth, nearly three times the growth rate of the overall TV households and also surpassing black/African American households 2.2%. On an absolute basis, Asians were just 4.1% of all TV households, Hispanics 11% and black/African American 12.2%.

 In local markets, the South and West led growth, as well over half of the DMAs moving up in rankings are from the Southeast and Mountain regions. For the first time in more than10 years, there were no ranking changes in the top 20 markets--#1 New York to #20 Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto.

 But further down the rankings, Nielsen cites the following:

 * Indianapolis moved into the top 25 for the first time, as Baltimore fell two positions from #24 to #26.

 * Austin enters the Top 50 markets, moving from #51 to #49

 • Las Vegas jumps from #43 to #42

 • Palm Springs climbs two spots from #144 to #142

 • Multi-position gains occurred in the Mountain-region for Salt Lake City (+2 to #33), Spokane (+2 to #75), Reno (+2 to #108), Grand Junction-Montrose (+3 to #184) and Butte-Bozeman (+4 to #190).

 Nielsen adds it will be alert to making adjustments due to shifts to its TV universe estimates stemming from the Feb. 17, 2009 digital TV transition.