Interest in President Trump and other headlines is driving Americans in gyms, waiting rooms and bars to watch news by more than two-to-one over everything else other than sports, according to Nielsen.
In its latest analysis, the TV ratings giant looked at what people watched outside of their home and discovered that Americans watch an additional two hours and two minutes a week of news. Only sports captured more out-of-home eye-time, two hours and 37 minutes.
Nielsen said that the nation's interest in politics and Trump's issues have drawn more attention and are helping news, especially TV cable news channels, rise in the ratings.
"As one of the most increasingly popular genres over the past year, news is well positioned to benefit from viewing occurring in the gyms, waiting rooms and bars across the nation as well," said the analysis.
It used the recent testimony of former FBI Director James Comey to make its point:
"While Comey's appearance drew about 19.5 million total average viewers, Nielsen found that ratings for adults 18-49 increased by 11 percent for broadcast and 17 percent for cable airings of the hearing when factoring in those that watched away from their homes.
"In early 2017, Americans spent an average of an additional two hours viewing the news away from their homes, the second largest increase in this type of time spent viewing for the genres analyzed. Advertisers would be glad to know that their dollars are still being spent wisely -- about 48% percent of out-of-home viewing came from persons aged 25-54, a key demographic for news programming."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org