Glued to TV for Now, but When Programming Thins and Bills Mount…

More Netflix. Less ESPN. The pandemic means a greater number of television viewers in the short term, but signals a potential threat to the ecosystem protecting the industry.

It happened around the world, and now it’s happening in the United States: The more people stay home to avoid the coronavirus pandemic, the more they find themselves glued to their screens.

In South Korea, as cases spiked, television viewership shot up 17 percent, according to Nielsen. Last month in Italy, the size of the TV audience increased 6.5 percent, with a 12 percent rise in hard-hit Lombardy.

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Time Spent Streaming Spiked 20% Worldwide This Past Weekend
For years, TV executives have fretted there is too much TV. Now, with the coronavirus looming large, they are worried there might not be enough. Because of the pandemic, streaming surged this past weekend, according to Wurl Inc., a company that delivers video and advertising to connected TVs. The amount of time people spent streaming spiked by more than 20% worldwide, including more than 40% in Austria and Spain.

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