Writers' Strike Has Changed TV Viewing Habits

Posted on February 3, 2008

A new survey reveals that the writers' strike is having a major impact on the habits of television viewers.

A new survey from Carat, a media communications company, found that the Hollywood writers' strike is not driving viewers away from TV but is affecting their viewing patterns, with 72 percent of respondents watching the same amount of prime-time TV than before the strike, 25 percent of people watching less and 3 percent watching more.

The survey also discovered that in addition to their typical television viewing, consumers are changing what they watch during prime time. For example, they are willing to watch different genres, watch repeat episodes and channel surf to hunt for different programs. Sixteen percent of respondents said they would continue to watch their favorite TV shows in repeats for the next three to six months and among those viewers, 21 percent said they would never lose interest. For those viewers who said they "would not" or "may not" continue to watch their favorite shows in repeats, the top choice was to go online (54 percent), followed by channel surfing until they found something else interesting to watch (51 percent). Additionally, viewers who are not willing to continue watching repeats of their favorite shows are also open to expanding their use of other entertainment options such as online (54 percent), DVDs (80 percent), magazines (30 percent) and video games (20 percent).

The survey also revealed that an astonishingly high 95% of adult primetime viewers are aware of the writers' strike. Considering the fact that only a tiny number of Americans can correctly name three current Supreme Court justices (or who the Secretary of State is, for that matter), it shows that primetime television really is a big part of people's lives.

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