TV has evolved dramatically in recent years, but some things never change. Our global research study Today’s TV found that television continues to bring people together – just like it always has. While this research was conducted pre-coronavirus, this finding is especially true today, with people around the world in lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Here’s some of what we learned:

TV helps families relax and spend quality time together. It’s easy, it’s free (or at least not an additional cost) and it’s fun for the whole family. In fact, TV is the number one activity for bringing families together. Before the pandemic, TV offered a chance for everyone to take a break from their busy lives and gather on the couch for a favorite show or movie. Now, TV keeps viewers entertained at home as they seek safety from the virus.

TV facilitates at-home experiences among friends. When we conducted the study, we found that TV was at the center of cherished traditions among friends. One such example is the group of UK women we met who got together regularly for a popular baking show, taking turns to cook pasta for dinner. And while convening at friends’ homes is not advisable now, quarantine watch parties continue online through Netflix Party, Instagram, and other services.

TV is a conversation starter. It inspires discussion, helping people find common ground with others that they may not know well or with whom they have differences – as well as with family members within their own homes!