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THE DRONE OF TV JUST GETS LOUDER

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By the end of the year more than 98 percent of all the homes in the United States will have TV sets, a total of 95.4 million homes, Nielsen Media Research reported Tuesday.

The sets will be watched by 246.5 million people over the age of 2, the research organization said.The estimated number of homes with TV sets by New Year's is a 1.2 million jump over Dec. 31, 1993, Nielsen said, adding the figures would be used for its audience measurement estimates beginning Sept. 5, and continuing throughout the 1994-95 television season.

Nielsen said out of the total estimated audience in U.S. homes, those over 18 included 97.8 million women and 89,240 men.

Those between 12 and 17 included 10.4 million girls and 10.8 million boys. Children from 2 to 11 were estimated at 38.1 million.