By 2015, almost half of all television viewing will be done by folks over the age of 50, says media analyst Todd Juenger of Sanford C. Bernstein Co. in a new report titled "Bring Back 'Matlock'?"
That is a mixed blessing for the TV industry. On one hand, the tendency of older viewers to consume more television means that the overall audience is growing. On the other hand, advertisers prefer to reach younger viewers, and those numbers are in decline.
The reason advertisers target younger viewers is because of the belief that they are easier to persuade to try new products as opposed to older viewers who tend to be set in their ways.
The TV networks also want to reach younger viewers because they can charge advertisers more. Because older viewers typically consume greater levels of TV, commercials targeting them are cheaper.