The average television viewing time has risen four minutes a day so far this season over the same period last season, according to new research from Nielsen Media Research.
The increase in viewing, measured from Sept. 19, 2005, through Dec. 18, 2005, represents a two percent gain over the same time period in 2004.
TV watching is flat for younger people, but up for those 35 and older, said Paul Donato, the chief research officer for Nielsen. He told the The New York Times that news is driving the increased viewership.
During the study's time period, the news was covering Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the trial of Saddam Hussein and the deaths of Supreme Court Justice William H. Rehnquist and the civil rights activist Rosa M. Parks.