Fickle viewers tune in to multichannel TV, CIA report finds

Multichannel television makes TV viewers less likely to pay attention to individual programmes and less loyal to specific channels according to a new report from CIA Medianetwork’s MediaLab.

Multichannel television makes TV viewers less likely to pay

attention to individual programmes and less loyal to specific channels

according to a new report from CIA Medianetwork’s MediaLab.



The study, TV 2001, found that with multichannel familiarity comes a

degree of contempt for TV. Viewers with multichannel TV show less

loyalty to programmes and channels, have lower quality demands of the TV

they do watch, display a lower attention span and a greater willingness

to change channels at the slightest prompting.



With 40 or more channels available to them, viewers tend to watch on

average just 17, with few changes across demographics. David Fletcher,

the head of MediaLab, said: ’While the actual portfolio of channels

varies by demograph, it suggests that for any one advertiser, the use of

an extended list of channels contributes little beyond what the

terrestrial and major cable and satellite channels can offer.’



At the same time, viewers in multichannel homes watch less of individual

programmes than viewers in terrestrial homes. According to the findings,

86 per cent of viewers of the average programme on ITV in terrestrial

households will watch at least three quarters of the programme, whereas

loyalty to these same programmes in multichannel homes is about 5 per

cent lower.



Multichannel viewers think terrestrial TV, particularly the BBC, offers

quality and value and is trustworthy, but satellite channels are seen as

offering fun and excitement. ’In multichannel homes a frivolous and

informal relationship exists between the viewer and the channel or

programme,’ Fletcher explained.



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