Media and Technology Stats and Studies – May 20, 2013

A soon-to-be published University of Wisconsin-Madison meta-analysis of data on more than 10,000 children in 15 countries is expected to show viewing international co-productions of Sesame Street has a positive impact on learning in children around the world. According to the University of Wisconsin, the study will show an average 11.6 percentile difference between viewers and non-viewers on “cognitive outcomes (including literacy and numeracy), learning about the world (including health and safety knowledge), and social reasoning and attitudes.” An NTI/PBS study recently showed PBS Kids’ TV and online media outlets attract a higher proportion of African American, Hispanic and low-income households, compared to their proportion of the overall population. A 2010 study of 600 pre-school children showed children who viewed PBS’ Sesame Street increased their ability to articulate scientific concepts by 100%.

Media Matters for America released Diversity of Evening Cable News in 13 Charts. The report looked at the race, ethnicity and gender of 1,677 guests and found that women did not make up more than 33% of guests on any of the cable news channels. Media Matters also found that Fox News had the highest proportion of white guests (83%), with MSNBC having the lowest (73%), and that African Americans were the “largest non-white group on all of the networks,” as 19% of the non-white guests Media Matters reviewed were African American.

Netflix released its ranking of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with the fastest speeds. Google Fiber ranked first with an average speed of 3.45 Mbps, with Cablevision, Cox, Suddenlink, Charter, Verizon-FIOS, MediaCom, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House, rounding out the Top 10.

NTIA reported that 18% of rural areas continue to lack access to download speeds of at least 6 Mbps, compared to 100% of urban residents.

The Center for Democracy and Technology has released a report explaining the technical reasons why the report’s authors believe the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s effort to step up Internet surveillance poses serious national security risks. Currently, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) enables law enforcement officials to wiretap phone lines. The authority for tapping communications conducted via instant messaging platforms and VOIP platforms such as Skype is not as clear since these services rely on the Internet, rather than phone lines, to function. Among other things, the report concludes that requiring these service providers to build in intercept capabilities at endpoints exposes the United States to “serious consequences for the economic well-being and national security of the United States.”

A record year in political spending on local TV stations has led to a spate of broadcast mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the US TV broadcast industry. The revenues generated by local TV stations during the 2012 election cycle allowed them to make their balance sheets more attractive for investors. LIN Television, Nexstar Broadcasting, Sinclair Broadcast Group, and Tribune are among the largest groups leading this new wave of consolidation, the value of which could exceed $6 billion through 2014, according to Moody’s.

Clear Channel reports its iHeartRadio service has reached 30 million registered users. This is compared to 200 million registered users for Pandora, the Internet radio market leader. Clear Channel also reported 60 million unique users per month, compared to 67 million active Pandora users. Clear Channel attributes this difference to the fact that Clear Channel users can always turn to local FM radio stations for local content.

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