Study: Digital is fueling primetime


As consumers become more connected to broadband and digital television, they are more likely to become engaged in primetime television programming, according to a report released Thursday by CBS Corp.

According to the report, which was conducted by CBS chief research officer David Poltrack and 30% of the population was "fully connected" by last fall, meaning they have both a broadband and digital television connection at home, up from 22% in fall 2005. The network's research found that this group, which they describe as "upscale" and "better educated," is 20% more likely to watch the top 10 primetime programs than the national average.

"This sector of the audience is growing," Poltrack said. "By offering them new ways to connect to their favorite shows — whether it's Web sites, podcasts, ringtones or other mobile features — we've been able to deepen the bond these fully connected viewers have with our programming."

Furthermore, 56% of those surveyed were aware that you could stream network television programs over the Internet, and of this group 46% have streamed at least one program. When the segment that was not aware of the streaming option was told about it, 62% said they would stream programs in the future.

The report also revealed that fewer than 30% of those surveyed were aware of the 2009 deadline for broadcasters to switch to full digital transmissions. Of this group, one-half said they have already switched to a digital set and 30% said they plan to upgrade before the changeover. When the rest were made aware of the deadline, 40% said they would likely purchase a digital set before 2009.

"These findings really demonstrate the potential the broadcast networks have to further engage the public with our content as new technology expands our distribution options," Poltrack said.