Agency Finds TV Retains Viewers, For Now

Did the writers' strike change TV viewers' behavior? The majority of prime-time viewers are watching the same amount of TV.

In a new Carat study, three-quarters of all TV viewers are watching about the same amount of TV now as before the strike started. Still, there is some erosion: 25% of TV viewers are watching less. In addition, 3% are watching more.

While little has changed so far, results from Carat's study show that bigger changes are coming--especially with fewer new prime-time scripted shows on the way.

The real test may be ahead. If TV viewers can't find their favorite shows in the coming weeks and months, 54% said they would go to the Internet, and 51% said they would channel-surf until they found something of interest. Sixteen percent said they would continue to watch their favorite shows in repeats for the next three to six months.

Another big chunk of viewers said they would fire up their DVD players. Forty-two percent said they would rent or buy DVDs; 38% would watch DVDs they currently own.

Concerning other media, 30% said they would read magazines, and 20% would play video games. Of the 54% of TV viewers who said they would turn to the Internet, only 6% said they would go to TV networks' sites to watch shows.



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