CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 02: Chicago Cubs fans watch the Chicago Cubs play the Cleveland Indians during game seven of the 2016 World Series at The Stretch bar in the Wrigleyville neighborhood on November 2, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs are looking to secure their first World Series championship since 1908. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

As Nielsen has begun to measure out-of-home viewing, networks have found to see some of their numbers increase, ESPN in particular. Neilsen has shared some data showing that unsurprisingly, sports and news are the biggest beneficiaries of out-of-home viewing.

Nielsen defines out-of-home viewing as watching in bars, gyms, airports or an office. Most of the out-of-home viewing comes from the 35-54 and 55+ age groups. Both demographics are split at 32% with the 18-34 demographic next at 26%. But if you combine the 18-34 and 35-54 groups at close to 60%, those are the demographics which advertisers crave.

The data shows that live sports saw a 9% increase in ratings when out-of-home viewing was included to its already existing numbers. That’s the highest increase of any of the genres that have been measured. News was next with a 3% hike:

Courtesy Nielsen

Watching sports at a bar has been part of the viewing experience for years and now networks are seeing the hard data in what they have been saying all along, that out-of-home viewing can grow their ratings and now they have the numbers to prove it.

Nielsen acknowledges that while out-of-home viewing is just a small part of the ratings, it’s all part of the big picture that networks crave, numbers that will give them a bigger edge and any increase is appreciated.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.