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Report: Repurposed Online TV Fare Takes Backseat to Broadcast

8 Jul, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Despite the proliferation of repurposed television programming online, 94% of cable or satellite subscribers prefer watching the content first on TV, according to a report by The Nielsen Co.

Created by Nielsen for the cable TV industry, the online survey of 1,200 adult broadband users found that 35% said they had watched at least one TV show for the first time online.

More than 50% of respondents spent at least three hours a week online, up from 41% in 2005.

Among respondents who sought online video content, 87% watched repurposed TV programming on the network's Web site. About 82% who watched online did so to find a specific program they missed when it first was broadcast.

Another 40% of respondents said they went online to find information on actors and future programs.

Other reasons for viewing online TV fare included reading background information on a show's characters (37%), viewing behind-the-scenes clips (27%), cast member interview (26%), show bloopers (22%) and deleted scenes (20%).

About 14% of online viewing occurred on a desktop computer, 9% on a laptop, 6% on a video-enabled mobile phone and portable video player (5%).

While 82% of respondents own a mobile phone, just 7% subscribe to a video download service. Among owners of Apple's video iPod, 35% have never watched a video on it, 16% watch two to three times monthly, 14% watch once a week and 9% watch video daily.

“With so many viewing options now available via digital technology, it's more important than ever to understand how people are consuming media,” said Susan Whiting, EVP, The Nielsen Co. “The analysis shows a continuing strong appetite for watching TV the traditional way even as viewers begin to extend their viewing to the PC.”

Other findings included increased use of free on-demand programming to 71% from 49% in 2005. Pay-per-view increased from 46% to 55%.

Among owners of high-definition flat screen TVs, 41% subscribe to HD programming; 20% only watch HD programming and 45% watch HD content “most of the time.”

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