AT&T Sees Uptick in Kids, Family and News Viewership

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On-Demand Movie Buying/Renting Nearly Doubles CNN Viewership Up 150% Compared to Last Year

DALLAS, March 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Whether it’s parents turning on the TV after a long day of work and childcare, throwing on a movie in the middle of the day to entertain kids, or consuming more news than ever – our viewing patterns and habits have shifted.

“Movies, news and TV have always kept us entertained and informed, but lately we’re seeing changes in customer behavior,” said Rick Welday, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, AT&T Communications. “With more people social distancing and staying in, numbers across the board have jumped – and this is a trend we expect to continue.”

Here are some interesting trends we’re seeing lately on our premium TV products and CNN.

  • Weekday Viewership has Increased
    • Live viewing is up 15% and free video on-demand is up nearly 25% during the week across both AT&T TV and DIRECTV as more people are staying at home.
    • As expected, sports viewing is down due to season holds and delays.  However, this is being offset by upticks in News, Kids, and general Entertainment viewing. *
  • Increase in Movie Rentals and Purchases
    • Movie buying and renting volume has almost doubled during weekdays and on weekends as people spend most of their time at home.
  • Family and Drama Genres show the most growth
    • As the whole family is at home, we are seeing a 3X spike in titles that are suitable for family viewing like Jumanji: The Next Level, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker as well as titles for kids like Frozen II and Spies Like Us
    • Interestingly, despite being in its 7th week of release, transactions on Tom Hanks’ A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood increased over 2X, possibly due to the actor and his wife’s public battle with COVID-19. Not surprisingly, Contagion was the #21 title last week, rising from the #47 spot 2 weeks ago.
  • New Release Movies at Home:
    • As theaters are closed, movie studios are releasing movies early, including The Invisible Man, The Hunt, Emma, and Onward. Our premium video customers are certainly taking advantage of viewing these new films at home.  We saw meaningful volume of these 4 titles during the first 2 days of release. **

While people are increasing their movie and TV viewership, we’re also seeing folks watching more news across the board to stay informed in these uncertain times. ***

  • CNN is proving to be an anchor of customer viewership and is experiencing material growth in visitors and engagement:
    • CNN daytime viewership increased 150% vs last year and the channel is experiencing a higher rate of growth YOY than our closest competitor in the cable news space.
    • CNN Digital has averaged more than 50 million daily unique multiplatform visitors over the last 15 days. It’s averaging more than 2X the 2019 average for daily unique multiplatform visitors. On Tuesday 3/17, CNN Digital had its biggest day since the 2016 election.

*Data is specific to viewership on AT&T TV and DIRECTV
** Data is specific to viewership on DIRECTV on-demand only
*** Data is not specific to viewership on AT&T services

*About AT&T Communications
We help family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to mobile video streaming, we innovate to improve lives. We have the nation’s fastest wireless network.** And according to America’s biggest test, we have the nation’s best wireless network.*** We’re building FirstNet just for first responders and creating next-generation mobile 5G. With our video products, we deliver entertainment people love to talk about. Our smart, highly secure solutions serve nearly 3 million global businesses – nearly all of the Fortune 1000. And worldwide, our spirit of service drives employees to give back to their communities.

AT&T Communications is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). Learn more at

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