Quick Takes: Are Viewers Out of the Habit of Watching Prime-Time TV?

May 11, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Are viewers out of the habit of watching prime-time TV?
“At Nielsen, we’re finding that people are watching television during prime time more than ever this season. That’s because there is more choice, more TVs in the home and more opportunity to watch your favorite program whenever you want to.”
Gary Holmes, chief press officer, Nielsen Co.
“In truth, viewers largely stopped watching network ‘schedules’ long ago. With today’s enormous amount of program choices and with changes in personal lifestyle—and with the ascent of goof-proof recording devices—viewers are in control now. It’s the network schedulers who are now having to catch up with the viewer, instead of the other way around.”
Charles Segars, CEO, Ovation TV
“I think people still watch TV in prime time, but thanks to the DVR it may be a show from last night’s prime-time schedule. The DVR’s vast improvement over the VCR has given home viewers more flexibility in what they watch—and when. “
Phillip Swann, president of TVPredictions.com
“I think what we’re talking about here is sort of two different platforms. The content itself is platform-agnostic. … It’s a ‘lean back’ versus ‘lean forward’ experience. We’re exclusively for the Internet, but eventually it seems that technology will drive the conversions of the platform so that you’ll be able to find them in both places. It’s not a ‘Jetsons’ future, it’s probably only five years away. The migration to the Web is really temporary, and it has to do with which platform you can watch more easily. TV isn’t going anywhere; it’s still the best platform, and ideally people would like to watch this content from their couches. There are some good Web comedies, but it’s not as good as network TV is putting out.”
Marc Gilbar of Handsome Donkey, the comedy team behind the ABC Web series “Squeegees.”

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