TV Viewership and Technology Ownership

Marketers that are delving deeply into consumer behavior are likely to benefit from a Knowledge Networks/SRI report that examines the correlation between favorite television channels and technology ownership.

Comparing profiles of 30 media devices and services — including digital cable TV, DVD players, home theaters, caller ID, wireless Internet PDAs or phones, digital cameras, video gaming systems, broadband, and the number of PCs — to 31 major TV networks, the report found that homes that typically watch HBO have the highest index of home technology.

Other networks whose viewing homes have high technology levels are Showtime, MTV, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, VH-1, and TLC. The WB and UPN had the highest technology indexes among broadcast networks.

Based on detailed interviews with 1,487 homes across the U.S., the research uncovered a demographic extreme. Almost half (47 percent) of homes that regularly view HBO, which typically broadcasts programming for adult audiences, have a TV and PC in the same room. This percentage is identical to the homes that regularly view MTV, whose viewership skews younger.

Other top channels that are regularly watched by homes with a co-located PC and TV are: Cartoon Network, 45 percent; Disney Channel, 44 percent; UPN, 43 percent; ESPN2, 43 percent; Nickelodeon, 43 percent, The WB, 42 percent; ESPN, 42 percent; and Fox Sports Net, 41 percent.

KN/SRI also found that 68 percent of homes that regularly view MSNBC are online. The percentage is in the mid-60s for the other top regularly viewed channels: CNN, ESPN, HBO, TLC, MTV, Disney Channel, The WB, A&E, and Cartoon Network.

Advertisers can use these profiles to educate consumers about high-technology devices, which In-Stat/MDR found critical to driving market growth. The research firm reports that it has taken a few years for DVD technology to reach the mainstream and this will also be the case for newer products like personal video recorders (PVRs), satellite radio, online gaming, and other products that are in the early stages of their life cycles.

In-Stat/MDR’s annual consumer survey also revealed:

  • The most common devices currently owned by respondents include: cable TV service, CD recorders, and DVD players.
  • The percentage of those owning DVD players has risen to 37.2 percent in 2002, up from 18.6 percent in 2001, likely due to the decrease in price of players and increased availability of DVDs.
  • More than one-third (34 percent) of 961 respondents own a video game console, compared to 28 percent in 2001.

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