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TheStreet Open House

Sports Broadcasts Holding The Line Against "Delayed Viewership" Incursion

Roughly half of evening talk/comedy show viewers (52%) indicate watching live or semi-live, with similar results seen for daytime talk shows (50%) and soap operas (48%).

Prime time staples intercepted by delayed viewershipBy comparison, the mainstays of prime time programming, scripted shows, are struggling to hold onto their once-proud must-see status.  Delayed viewing options outpace combined live and semi-live viewing for comedies (55% delayed, 45% live or semi-live), thrillers (56% and 44%, respectively) and dramas (also 56% and 44%, respectively).

March Madness entering the final stretch – and fans will, of course, be watching it liveAmong the 38% of Americans planning on following the 2013 March Madness tournament (in data collected prior to the "First Four"), the majority (54%) indicated planning on following as much as they could throughout the tournament, from the "First Four" on, while three in ten (29%) indicated they would likely start following during the "Sweet 16." 

And how do you think the vast majority (86%) of those viewers will be taking in all the action?  That's right – live (84% on TV, 4% via online streaming or an app).

So what? TV advertisers are in an increasingly tight spot, with live viewership for many types of programming on the wane and even the semi-live approach allowing viewers to skip through much, if not all, ads (depending on the length of viewership delay). 

Content providers face a similar challenge.  While several approaches have emerged for monetizing online viewership, none have yet emerged as a gold standard.

But for the time being at least, sports programming appears to be successfully holding onto the ball.

To see other recent Harris Polls, or to search through over 40 years of topics in the Harris Vault™, please visit the Harris Poll News Room .

MethodologyThis Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between March 13 and 18, 2013 among 2,276 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

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