TV Viewership in ’08 to Be Strong, Bolstered by Olympics, Election, Idol Finale

March 20, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Media & Entertainment | Newspapers | Television | Videogames

Viewers are going back to their favorite TV shows after the writers’ strike, with some heading online -?but many more anticipating?viewing?upcoming special-event TV programming, including the Olympics, presidential election and?American Idol, according to Carat.

Some primetime viewers have reacted to the end of the writers’ strike by watching more TV (9% are doing so) – but as many as 82% are watching the same amount as during the strike, a Carat survey found.

Returning to Favorites

Asked whether they will return to their favorite TV show…

  • 62% said they will, once it is back on air in late March/April.
  • 55% said they will, even if it is not back on air until the fall or winter. In the meantime, within this group…
    • 75% of those viewers said they plan to channel surf or watch other familiar primetime shows.
    • Just 3% said they would go online (to network or video websites) to watch full repeat episodes and/or any online exclusive content (e.g., interviews, previews).


  • Only 5% do not plan to tune in to their favorite TV shows at all when those shows?return. Within this group…
    • 11% said they are planning to watch TV shows on any video sites.
    • 2% said they will watch shows on TV network websites.
    • Others?plan to watch DVDs, go to the movie theater, play videogames and watch free VOD programming (9-10% for each activity).


Special-Event Programming


  • About half (48%) of respondents expressed interest in watching the 2008 Olympic Games.
  • Respondents say they will seek news/info about the Olympics from broadcast networks (92%), cable news channels (52%), and newspapers (38%).
  • Some 40% of respondents said the 2008 presidential election is an event they’d be interested in watching on TV.
  • Respondents cited broadcast networks (84%), cable news channels (73%), newspapers (50%) as sources of news/info about the election that they will likely turn to.
  • Respondents are also interested in watching the American Idol finale in May (32% said so) and spring sports programming such as baseball (27%) and March Madness/NCAA basketball tournament (25%).

About the survey: Carat Insight surveyed 1,000 primetime TV viewers (18+) March 3-5, 2008.

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