Web streaming doesn't hurt TV viewing

Report: 46% of online viewers watch primarily on Internet

CBS has provided more evidence to support the much-repeated theory that streaming full-length episodes of primetime series is mostly additive for the broadcast networks and does little to threaten TV viewing.

According to a new report issued by CBS Interactive, less than half of the network's online audience (46%) primarily views their favorite shows online, and most say that the wide availability of these shows across the Internet does not impact their TV viewing. In fact, 35% of the nearly 50,000 streamers surveyed by researcher Magid Media Labs on behalf of CBS reported that they are more likely to view shows on the network as a result of having been exposed to content on the Web.

That's particularly good news for CBS, which has been aggressive in both offering full-length episodes of its shows on its site and also in syndicating these shows all over the Internet as part of the CBS Audience Network, which includes everything from Yahoo to Bebo. "These findings confirm what we've believed all along," said David Botkin, senior vp, research & audience analytics, CBS Interactive. "Online viewing is complementary to broadcast viewing, so making our programming more accessible to people drives awareness, interest and ratings both online and on-air."

Online viewing also appears to be driving down CBS' new median age. While the network draws the oldest average audience on TV -- 54, according to a recent report issued by Magna Global USA -- the median age of CBS' streaming audience is 38, according to Magid.