Research: Broadcast First Stop for Originals

Dec 11, 2006  •  Post A Comment

During the 2006-07 season, cable outlets as a group outperformed broadcast networks as a group four of the seven nights per week for the first time, but viewers are still clinging to traditional viewing habits. People watch favorite shows no matter where they air, according to a new study released last week by SmithGeiger and Warner Bros. Media Research.

The study focused on the attitudes, motivations and behavior of television viewers and was conducted via comprehensive online interviews with 1,500 television viewers last summer. The largest part of the study compared the draw of original series on cable channels versus cable series acquired from the broadcast networks.

Among the findings in the research: the majority of TV viewers still turn to broadcast outlets for originals and to cable for acquired programs; and acquired programs play a vital role to the cable programming mix because they recruit new viewers, provide a strong platform for launching originals and deliver an engaged audience for advertisers.

“Viewers appear to have a clear expectation of what they are looking for in a broadcast or cable experience,” said David Smith, CEO of strategic marketing research and consulting firm SmithGeiger. “While they expect to go to broadcast networks for original programs, they look to their cable networks for both originals and acquired series. Viewers watch acquired programs for a variety of reasons, including discovering new shows they missed on broadcast or to catch up with previous seasons on television favorites.” –