Study: Web video watchers still watch TV

Surge in usage hasn't hurt ratings

NEW YORK -- An estimated 81 million people watch broadband video, but this has not adversely affected TV ratings, according to a study released Tuesday by the Nielsen Co. and the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing.

The study said about 63% of the 129 million broadband users in the U.S. watched online video as of March, up 16% from 70 million in September.

Television viewing, however, was not shown to be hurt by the increase. The study found that broadband video was largely "incremental new viewing" and not a substitute for TV usage.

The report also found that 33% of those surveyed said watching broadband video actually increased their television viewing time compared with 13% who said it decreased TV consumption.

Respondents also indicated that availability of television programs on the Internet could lead to greater broadband video viewing. Those surveyed also said Web video accessed via their television sets would lead to greater consumption.

ABC's site was listed as the leader among broadband viewer visits to TV network portals, according to the study, and Yahoo Inc.'s movie site was the leader in the film category.

Nielsen and CTAM conducted more than 2,200 online interviews for the study and used smaller sets to analyze how video formats and advertising contributed to broadband and TV viewing.

The Nielsen Co. is the parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.