Television

Study examines transformation of primetime TV viewing in the US

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MUMBAI: Primetime TV in the US is now very much at the service of its users. They increasingly switch channels, multitask while watching, and personally select the programmes they see.

This information is contained in a study by Knowledge Networks. The study shows dramatic changes in the primetime viewing experience (8 -9 pm) over the past 10 years.

The report is called How People Use Primetime TV 2004. While primetime television is still a powerful presence in consumers' daily lives the audience is searching for more ways to control the viewing experience, to make a place for TV as part of their increasingly hectic lifestyles.

The study shows that:

* Almost half (41 per cent) of primetime viewers turn on the TV to watch a specific show "most of the time"

* 45 per cent of primetime TV viewers are watching TV by themselves, versus 31 per cent a decade ago

* 47 per cent of viewers switch channels during some part of a programme most commonly because a program ends or to skip a commercial as compared to 33 per cent in 1994.

* The proportion of viewers doing other things -- such as talking, snacking or reading -- while watching primetime TV has increased slightly since 1994, from 67 per cent to 75 per cent

* 47 per cent of the respondents believe that primetime advertising is better than other daypart advertising at making them aware of new products

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