How many of you watched the presidential debates? Many of you it seems. According to the Nielsen ratings, black TV viewers are tuning in to watch politics rather than their usual programming.
“The second Presidential debate that aired on Tuesday, Oct.16th, was the real ratings winner among TV shows for the third week of October. 4.8 million of the more than 10 million Black viewers watched on ABC, CBS and NBC. (Another 5.3 million tuned in on cable). ABC’s “Scandal” returned to the lineup and came in at No.3,” reports TargetMarketNews. “NBC edged out CBS as the most watched TV network, carrying 13 million Black viewers for eight of its shows. CBS dropped to second place with 12.8 million for ten shows. ABC had 8.5 million for six programs.” The ratings stats for the final debate were not available yet at press time.
African Americans are the largest group of TV viewers, comprising “approximately 13 percent of the 109.6 million TV households. African-Americans generally watch more television than other segments of the population,” reports Nielsen. African-American adults are avid TV watchers, averaging 210 hours per month, more than whites, Latinos and Asians by quite a bit. And black children aren’t just exposed to television that they’re watching, but TV that plays as background noise for hours on end.
Now if everyone who watched TV voted, that would be interesting. Only about 58 percent of the eligible voters in America actually vote, according to voting and registration data US Census 2008. And according to USA Today, this November about 90 million Americans who can vote won’t.