Traditional TV Steps Up Game to Get Older Viewers

Network television has a touch of grey, but embracing it -- because core viewers are staying even as young people flock to other platforms.

The networks are realizing that the grownups control the remote because the kids don't want it.

Older TV watchers have long been dismissed as a "dying demographic" by television executives. But now, the generational flight of young people to streaming and YouTube has made longtime TV viewers suddenly valuable all over again.

The reason? The networks rely on eyeballs and advertisers, and older viewers are an ever-increasing sector of their viewership.

A generation ago, the median age of a TV viewer was 40. Now it's 54.

Adults watch about three hours of TV a day -- nearly twice the amount of teenagers, who turn to alternative sources of entertainment. Young people spent twice as much time as adults viewing online streamed content, video on demand and short clips.

Because of that, the networks now target affluent and influential 55- to-64-year-olds -- people they now call "alpha boomers."  These are people of a certain age who are more P[EOPEinterested in high-quality programming than high-tech platforms.

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