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Nielsen Releases Epic Findings on African Americans’ TV Habits

Nielsen Advisory Council members: Matthew Barnhill, BET; Cheryl Pearson McNeil; Danny Bakewell Sr., chairman and NNPA publisher; Susan Whiting, vice chair and chief diversity officer of Nielsen; Cloves Campbell, chairman of NNPA; Vic Bullock, chair of Nielsen African-American Advisory Council and executive director NAACP Hollywood Bureau; Cynthia Perkins-Roberts, Cable TV Ad Bureau; and journalist George Curry

African Americans watch more hours of television, make more shopping trips for food and over-index on mobile phone usage than any other demographic group in the United States.

Here are the findings: African Americans used their televisions an average of seven hours and 12 minutes each day (the most among ethnic groups); Asian Americans used their TVs an average of three hours and 11 minutes each day (the least among ethnic groups), and the total U.S. average of daily TV usage is five hours and 11 minutes.

Other key insights include African Americans used DVD players and video game consoles more than average, but whites were more likely to use DVRs. Some 40 percent of white families own DVRs, which is higher than average.

While it seems like a reason to raise an eyebrow, not so fast.

Nielsen’s senior vice president of public affairs and government relations, Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, offers a holistic perspective on why this information is important for both consumers and advertisers.

Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, Nielsen's SVP public affairs and government relations

“It’s a good thing to know where your power lies,” Pearson-McNeil reassures during an interview with rolling out earlier this year.

Nielsen and The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) held a press conference at the National Press Club where they distributed a 24-page “State of the African-American Consumer Report.” This report, an in-depth comprehensive collection of data and analysis that focuses on the consumer behavior of African Americans, is the first of its kind.

Attendees included Pearson-McNeil; Susan Whiting, vice chair and chief diversity officer of Nielsen; Dr. R. B. Holmes Jr., NNPA regional director and publisher of the Capitol Outlook; Cloves Campbell, chairman of NNPA and various members of the press.

The event coincided with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc.’s Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. –yvette caslin


  1. rawdawgbuffalo on September 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    and we wonder why we cant read, and more than 75 percent of aa 4th graders cannot read up to grade level or perform math. But they can rap and sing and dance though.  Who cares, all we feed them is materialism, celebrity and other garbage

    • Cdavis1911 on September 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm


      • Uncle Chuck on September 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm

        We need less preachin’ and more action! We need to wake up and realize how television and video games program us to reach for some unobtainable goal (big car, fancy clothes…) while teaching us how to kill each other with impunity.

  2. Anonymous on September 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Awww hell, we are about to be subjected to more BS televison programming since those glued to the once called “idiot box” are negros! I love it! The dumbing down is so blatant and folks can’t see it cause they’re watching tv, shopping for food or on the damn phone! Lawd hammercy!