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Report: 20% of Prime-Time TV Shows Viewed Online

29 Jul, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The television audience for primetime network programming is increasingly moving online and away from the digital video recorder (DVR), according to a new report.

The study by Integrated Media Measurement Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based consumer behavior research company, found that among the 20% of primetime programming viewed online, 50% of those viewers did so as a TV replacement.

More than 31% of respondents viewed online to catch-up on missed TV programming and 18.7% watched the Web rebroadcasts as fill-in content. The report also showed that the largest segment of online television viewers (55%) consists of white, affluent, well-educated, working women ages 25-44.

The live TV audience, by comparison, is 51% male and 49% female, according to the report.

Caucasians are 21% more likely to watch TV episodes online than any other racial group. More than 76% of Caucasian respondents watched online programming compared to 10.5% Latino, 6.1% African American, 4.9% Asian and 1.6% other.

The study — based on a mobile-phone-based digital monitoring system — tracked 14 primetime shows on two TV networks during the fall of 2007 and spring of 2008 by 3,000 teens and adults in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Denver.

“This is the first study to show there are a significant amount of people watching primetime shows online who are not watching some portion of those shows on television,” said Amanda Welsh, head of research for IMMI. “Everyone's been talking about the Internet becoming a substitute for television; however this is the first single-source passive data to show that the migration from one platform to another is actually occurring, and it's happening fast.”

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