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August 29, 2015

Online TV viewing nearly doubles over last year

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 5th 2008 1:41PM
ABC.comShowing why the issue of streaming and download revenue for television programs is so important to the WGA, this report details that online viewing of network primetime shows is up a staggering 18% over last year. That total now accounts for 43% of the total population, or nearly 80 million people. And of those 80 million, 20% say they watch online weekly. God knows I do. There's only so much time at night when I'm at home, so it's nice to be able to spend my lunch hour watching Prison Break or Brothers & Sisters online.

In this "On Demand" era, the idea that we can watch shows anywhere we can get an internet connection (Hi there, Starbucks!) at any time just makes sense. And hey networks, once the strike ends, why not stream your entire primetime lineup rather than just some of it? And With 16 million people watching programs weekly online, what does that do for the ratings of those shows? How is all this new media going to be properly tracked?

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"Online TV viewing nearly doubles over last year!!!"

Those writers are going to make so much money...

February 06 2008 at 9:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Joe's comment

still waiting to find out how an 18% increase means "nearly doubling"

February 06 2008 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Okay. Maybe I should have said "an additional 18%."

In 2006, 25% of total viewers watched online streaming.

In 2007, that same 25% plus another 18% of total viewers watched online streaming.

Thus, for 2007 we come up with 43% of total viewers that watched online streaming.

25% doubled is 50%. 43% is almost 50%. Almost double.

February 06 2008 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I cancelled my DirecTV service, and stream the few shows that I still watch. They actually look quite good on Fox on Demand.

February 06 2008 at 9:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Redhead Fangirl

Don't forget- Free wireless access at most public libraries.

February 05 2008 at 9:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's the only way I watch TV - been that way for me for three years now, and when the networks catch up I'll do it legally as well- I would happily pay $2 an episode if it was unencrypted DivX.

I noticed it first with Arrested Development - the Neilsen ratings said this show was unwatched, yet online the episodes were so popular on torrent sites. In no way was it the most downloaded show but it was in the top 5. I think 'cult' shows are getting a much bigger audience on the net.

February 05 2008 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Online TV viewing nearly doubles over last year!!!"

"online viewing of network primetime shows is up a staggering 18% over last year."

hmmm... how exactly does that work out. If 100 people watched one online tv last year and it increased 18% that means 118 people watched online tv this year. Now i am not a mathematician or anything but i do not think 118 is nearly double of 100. I "think" it is actually quite far away from doubling as a matter of fact.

I also really question this survey and how they found their sample group. Even when you are asking if they only watched one single episode online (not regular viewers) I find it hard to believe that 50% of the population answered yes.

February 05 2008 at 5:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Schmitt

The problem is that I've got a nice 30" HDTV for my small apartment, but an 18" monitor for my computer. I finally hooked up the Mac Mini to the HDTV and the stereo and I (almost) have the best way to watch TV when I want to.
Come on broacast networks! Give us what we want!

February 05 2008 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wait, P2P is legal in Canada but streaming isn't?

February 05 2008 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Until streaming is legally allowed in Canada, I really hope the networks don't show all their content online. I know, I know, that sounds selfish, but I'm afraid that if streaming gets TOO popular the traditional model will end and Canadians will get the shaft when it comes to U.S. content. Please don't take away 'LOST' and leave us with nothing but 'Corner Gas'.

February 05 2008 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to robinson29's comment

I tried to take in an episode of Corner Gas a few weeks ago out of curiosity. Wow, it's really..... not so good. heh

I've watched a lot of television that I got online. I'm pretty sure none of it was legal. But until recently I simply couldn't find shows like Dead Like Me or Trailer Park Boys on dvd. Do what you gotta do, son!

February 05 2008 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill Nelles

The entertainment moguls have only themselves to blame that there are now so many illicit web sites showing copies of shows. None of them have prioritized making their video shows, and esp TV output, easily accessible to people around the world in return for a small fee.

The situation here in Canada is instructive. Despite living within NAFTA and within reach of the US TV networks, I can neither view, nor download, any TV shows through the Canadian ITunes site (the only one I can use). Nor can I view any material on the US network's websites. That nice new NBC site - sorry ... no entry for anyone outside of the US.

And the Canadian providers aren't offering much on the web - most shows can only be see on air. This year a very few non-Canadian shows are available through the web on one network (Global). The Canadian iTunes site is a wasteland and all I can do is look at the US store. Can look but not to touch......

The other country whose video materials I treasure and would willingly pay for is the UK. Having lived in London for more than 30 years, it would be really nice to be able to purchase and watch UK shows. I'd happily pay for access to episodes or documentaries if the amount asked was fair and reasonable. Can I buy access to the UK shows legitimately - the answer is, again, of course not!

However, I am resourceful sort of chap, so I go to an 'offshore' provider of UK content and pay $40 a month to get access to UK TV, which I do with pleasure. But why can't I get this direct from the UK channels themselves?

Some people believe that all entertainment should be able to be "shared" for free, and post shows to different boards, but actually this is a pretty small group in comparison to the large numbers who pay a reasonable but fairly small fee to view a good quality episode of a show or a movie.

The recent US writers strike shows how slowly the worlds big entertainment providers are realizing, as they often comment in their programs, that we now live within a global distribution medium that can deliver high quality entertainment through downloads.

If protective barriers stop people getting the entertainment they want, they will find a way to get it some other way. Most of us would be happy to pay a reasonable amount, and probably accept some sort of DRM as well, to see the content they want to see when they want to see it. The BBC and US networks sit on enormous back catalogues of material that people like me would love to view......

It'll happen some day but I'm not getting any younger and I can't wait for them any more !

February 15 2008 at 11:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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