TV Better on TV Sets

TV Better on TV Sets

According to new research conducted by The Nielsen Company for the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, 94% of adults who subscribe to cable or satellite television services prefer to watch television on traditional TV sets rather than Online.

35% of the adult broadband users surveyed said they had watched at least one television program originally shown on TV via the Internet. Of those who sought out video content online:

  • 87% watched television programs directly from a TV network Web site
  • 82% of those who watched video content online said they went online to find a specific television program that they had missed when it first aired on TV.

This indicates the success that major networks are having by taking popular programs to the online platform. Online television viewers are catching up on their favorite shows, while 40% report using the Internet to learn about actors and upcoming episodes.

TV Related Activities Reviewed Online

TV Activity

% of Respondents

Read background info about a show's cast member


Viewed a show's previews


Read background info about the show or the show's characters


Viewed a behind-the-scenes video clip


Read or viewed a show's cast member interview


Viewed a show's bloopers


Viewed a show's deleted scenes


Source: "CTAM 4 Trend Results and Analysis" Study (2008)

Online television viewers said they prefer to watch shorter video clips when they go online. Specifically, top choices are:

  • Movie trailers (53%)
  • User generated videos (45%)
  • Music videos and general news segments (37%)
  • Comedy programs (31%)
  • Sports clips (31%)

"Tracking how consumer behavior is changing as a result of new television viewing platforms is critical to our business," said Char Beales, President and CEO of CTAM. "As preferences are made clear through research, cable companies and content providers evolve the product mix to best suit viewers' needs and desires."

Susan Whiting, Executive Vice President, The Nielsen Company, concludes "With so many (digital) viewing options... available... it's more important than ever to understand how people are consuming media. This analysis shows a continuing strong appetite for watching television the traditional way... "

The study found that people are spending more time online each week than they were two years ago. More than half of the respondents (51%) reported being online for at least three hours a week last year. In 2005, just 41% of those surveyed said they spent three or more hours online per week.

The analysis also found growth among services associated with traditional television set viewing. Respondents' knowledge and usage of video On Demand services increased substantially between 2005 and 2007. Free On Demand programs and movies also experienced a significant jump in usage from 49% in 2005 to 71% in 2007, and paid On Demand usage increased from 46% to 55%.

Other key findings include:

  • Interest in digital cable and HDTV jumped from 9% to 20% for digital cable and from 18% to 28% for high definition TV sets from 2005 to 2007
  • Small, but significant, percentages of respondents reported watching television via desktop computers (14%), laptops (9%), video-enabled mobile phones (6%), or other portable video players (5%)
  • While 82% of adults in this study own a mobile phone, only 7% subscribe to a video downloading service
  • Of those respondents who own a video iPod, 35% have never watched a video on it, 16% watch videos two or three times a month, 14% watch videos once a week, and 9% watch videos daily via iPod

The full report is available for purchase on the CTAM Web site, or visit Nieslen here for additional information.

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