Poll--downloading leads to more TV watching

A poll taken by CBS shows that over half of the users who have streamed CBS shows on the Web had never seen the shows before on TV. The network says that the new users then became fans of those shows.

CBS says this data will help it and the other networks in their efforts to monetize Web content. The more new people who watch shows at the network sites, the better ad rates the networks can command.

"We're looking at this as a key change in direction for us now and looking at our programming as dual distribution programming--over the air and on the Internet," CBS Corp. research chief David Poltrack told reporters today.

The new report adds to a report that ABC had conducted over the summer regarding impressions online ads made on Web surfers. In ABC's analysis, 87 percent of viewers at ABC.com said they recalled which advertisers had appeared during the shows they watched, and that those advertisers came off well due to advertising on the Web.

The networks are increasingly putting content onto the Web as if it is another TV channel. CBS recently put the remaining episodes of its canceled series Smith on its Innertube broadband site, Fox is running canned drama Vanished on its sites, and NBC put axed drama Kidnapped up at NBC.com. ABC has been broadcasting episodes of its shows online since last year.

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> Downloading leads to more TV watching Gee you think? Of course downloading shows exposes people to shows they have not seen yet. Not only does it allow people to see new shows that they cannot watch (i.e., on channels they do not receive for a variety of reasons), but it also lets people catch up on shows that they missed out on either a long time ago or recently. Many people don't get many channels. Some cannot afford channels outside of basic packages or just don't get them in their country. These people cannot watch shows on these channels. If they download and watch a show on these channels, then there is at least a chance that they may subscribe to it if they like it and it is actually available to them. Many people have not seen shows from a long time ago and not all of these shows are available on DVD. In this case, it is not harmful, and in fact, beneficial for them to get a chance to see them because many old shows are being remade, so if someone downloads and watches an old show that they have no interest in (and thus not going to spend money on a DVD even if it is available), they may be more likely to watch the remake. Other people may have ignored a new show and decided a few weeks later to give it a shot because they keep hearing about it. For example, I specifically skipped Lost when it came out (for whatever reason), but when I kept hearing about it over and over, I downloaded the first six episodes I had missed and showed my mother. We then started watching every episode live on TV (with commercials) from that point on (and begrudgingly stuck with it to the bitter end). Granted, you can usually watch shows legally online these days, but that is not always feasible. There is absolutely no way that I could have shown six episodes of Lost to my mother on a computer. I downloaded them and used my video-cards TV-out to transfer them to VHS. Without that option, there would have been at least one less viewer for at least one show. It was the same thing with Alias and a few other shows that I "forced" my mother to start watching. :-) The summary is that people are not going to spend money on stuff they don't know, let alone stuff they don't like. Downloading a show at least gives them the opportunity to decide if they want to bother with a show at all, and then if they like it, most people (who can afford it), will usually spend money to buy episodes or whatever. So yes, of course downloading leads to more TV watching. Duh.
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i'm not at all surprised by this... it seems natural. like, a lot of people have busy lives, family, social, work, etc... so cant always be home to watch the shows, so having them available to download is a great idea. so much more freedom. and as an Australian (where we get treated as second rate citizens when it comes to TV viewing) i would love it if they could let us LEGALLY download stuff - especially the things they have cancelled here, or never have aired here at all. otherwise we just have to use illegal downloads, or iTunes.
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I watch more tv because I know that if I miss a show I can still keeep up though I wiss they had more shows like brothers and sisters
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Lots of shows don't come to the UK, where I live, plus I am sick of waiting for the stations here to sort themselves out. Channel 4 messed about with the schedule for the West Wing so much that I switched to downloading. It would literally be on a different day at a different time every single week. SO annoying.



I thank god every day for whoever it was who inventged downloading.
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I download a lot of TV shows, but I don't watch TV since I live in Italy. Watching series via web allows me to see them way before they arrive in my country, and in original language, avoiding risks of crappy adaptations.
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Well --- duh. I've been saying this for a long time now. It's about time the networks wised up to this --- that if they make their shows easily available online, people will actually watch *more.*
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Up until 6 years ago, I did not watch TV at all. If there were a show recommended by a friend, I would wait and buy the DVD. Now I’m in the downloading business. The reason I didn’t watch TV is because I hate commercials and since I never had the time or patience to tape anything TV was being used only accompanied by a DVD. Every time I tried to watch anything on TV I would zap away the commercials, as a result, flipping back and forth to see if the commercials were over I was forgetting what I was watching in the first place. Now it is finally is over. I prefer to pay in order to watch a show than be bombarded by commercials that I don’t even watch. And the prices for legal downloading are ridiculously low. So, NO to commercials, YES to TV shows!
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Of course! If it weren't for downloading and online streams, I wouldn't watch half the TV I do now. Not only because they went undiscovered, but because:
- I share a television with other members of the household. Like my mother, the TV owner.
- I have noisy neighbours at certain hours of the day. No TV during those hours.
- I NEED pause buttons
- I'm not about to sit on the couch for hours straight watching shows back-to-back.

Downloading allows me to do all these things, things a simple television does not. Who in their right mind would want to watch television the regular way after discovering all the benefits of downloading / online streaming?
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Now they just need to make these downloads available to the international audience. I understand they're afraid to undercut the international affiliate licence fees, but if they start with the more "marginal" shows (or the ones that have a following but never get a good run internationally anyway), then they'd really start to see some results.

And I'd happily download programming with ads of various kinds -- breaks don't really work but I'd be happy with intro sponsors or scrolling text or even some limited product placement. If you put that advertising to a truly international audience that could be tracked better (via download stats) than any traditional TV audience ever has been, then they could really have a serious new form of revenue, and we could have access to more and hopefully better programming.
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Okay, if the poll's results are to be believed, why did THE O.C. post its lowest ratings to date for its season premiere?? And CBS's 3 LBS' premiere did pretty poorly despite a big ad campaign and an online push with the downloadable pilot episode too. Didn't seem to help it much.

I know that I downloaded it, watched it, was not impressed and did not bother to tune in on Tuesday to catch it over-the-air because I saw no point in doing so since I'd already watched it. I wonder how episode #2 will do given its been available online for nearly a week. I know that I won't be watching and that I have no plans to download it either.

This trend may generate some nice revenue for the networks for cancelled shows but for new, still on-the-air programs, it will hurt them overall.
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ive been download tv shows since last year and i probably watch about 75% more tv now becuase commerials are not that fun and now i never miss a episode beucase i could understand the show better.
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Since I started downloading tv shows online I've started following way more tv series. The idea of watching shows when I want without the interuptions created by commercials makes the whole experience much more enjoyable. All in all if I hadn't been able to download these shows I never would have started watching them. Regardless of whether I am watching these shows on tv or from my computer afterward its a benefit to the networks to offer shows online to increase their exposure to the public.
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I been downloading tv shows since 1998 and Ive found loads of shows I love that i woulda never seen on TV or that never made it to the UK.



Mainly because I like to watch TV shows when i want & I HATE ADVERTS WITH A PASSION! I even download the UK shows I like the day after its been on TV here instead of watching it on TV to avoid adverts lol.
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I download certain shows, as they aren't all available here in Norway, but if I really love a show, I always try to purchase them on DVD when they're released. It's more or less the only way I can contribute, and downloading has in this way made me a fan of several television shows I otherwise wouldn't have heard of.
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I think free itunes episodes can get you hooked. It made me love Bones, I watch more Andy milonakis (lol), and I starting watching project runway.
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it's a shame that it's not available for us, non-americans... but it's not upsetting me that much...
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I'm watching 10 times more TV than I did last season, and having way too much advertising drilled into my head.
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If neilsen ratings also counted internet downloads then there would be so many GOOD shows still on air. Who was the wise guy that decided to cancell The Wayans Bros. and The Tick?
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What a waste. I have downloaded shows for a while and always wondered why the networks havnt gotten into it. And of course you have to be American, to access there legal ones. Because if the show goes international it wont be cancalled. And then they will be stuck with a show no one in America wants!
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Could be nice if they made it available for people who are living outside the US

this is soo ture it's so annoying that all of us non americans can't watch shows on the web.
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Yes. Finally they realize that the web is not a scary thing, but a useful tool. Hope they will stop using the dumb viewers and let us download. They can still have the logos, sponsor text scrolling or such. If it's free at own convenience the viewer will not be as critical to commercials as on aired on tv. Plus I assume some marketing law change on the net = more commercial opportunities.
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Pretty much common sense though.
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I agree with the polls findings. I hope the networks and studios go with the reports findings and not screw things up.
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its rudimentary logic really, you increase someones access to something of course they're going to do it more, particularly if that access is free. as i said, i found the same happened with music and movies too, when illegally downloaded free access led to more of an interest, and also more purchases being made of cds and dvds etc (in 9/10 cases)
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Why do they write this like it's a newly discovered surprise? Stupid networks.
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It allows me to watch tv and a downloaded show at the same time. So I believe it
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Last year I watched about three shows on a regular basis. I used to just wait for the DVD's of shows I liked, because I was never home at night. This year I double the amount of shows I watch as I was able to keep up on shows, especially ABC shows...and got hooked on a few to the point where I actually stay home when I can to watch them.
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Agreed. I now watch more TV than ever, but I've dropped other shows to watch better shows that I have downloaded. Good or bad. :)
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i'm so not surprised by this - hell i did my dissertation on similar illegal downloading and found the same thing, course no one cared about my research
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