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Study: TV Still King, But Live TV Viewing Is Down

NEW YORK — Despite an increase in the amount of tablet and time-shifted video viewing, television still remains the central device for media consumption in U.S. homes, a new media study from Nielsen found.

The study showed that Americans as a whole consume 60 hours a week of media across all devices.

Meanwhile, viewers increasingly are watching programs on their own schedule, using time-shifted video recordings and streaming video through a computer or smartphone.

On average, American consumers own four digital devices, the report showed. The majority of U.S. homes have HDTV sets, Internet-connected computers and smartphones, while nearly half also own DVRs and video game consoles.

According to Nielsen, multitasking has become common practice with 84 percent of smartphone and tablet owners saying they use their devices as second screens while watching TV.

The survey showed that sports events generated the most Twitter postings last year, ringing in at more than 400 million, with TV series also tallying a big score. The top three most tweeted series in 2013 included: “Breaking Bad,” with 6 million tweets; “The Walking Dead,” with 4.9 million; and “American Horror Story: Coven,” with 2.9 million.

As for streaming services, the study found that 38 percent of U.S. consumers subscribe to or use the Netflix service, with 23 percent saying they watch it on a smartphone outside the home, up from 11 percent in 2012.

Despite the fact that TV remains the most viewed media device, the amount of live TV viewed each month dropped by three hours from a year ago.

At the same time, the amount of time spent watching programs on DVRs or On Demand services rose by 1 hour and 42 minutes, as web video viewing time rose 43 minutes.