An overwhelming majority of Americans binge-watch television shows, and when they do, they prefer current season episodes. According to a recent online survey by Harris Poll on behalf of Comcast, over half of binge-watchers would rather watch current season episodes (55%). 1 This was also the case in some of the country’s largest cities as binge-watchers in Washington, DC (66%), Philadelphia (62%), San Francisco (62%), Houston (61%), L.A. (59%), Chicago (59%) and Boston (58%) would all rather catch-up on the shows people are talking about right now. The survey also revealed that 82% of U.S. adults say they watch two or more TV episodes in one sitting, 56% want the lights on, 65% sit versus lay down, 58% prefers salty snacks to sweet and 11% would pick Rick Grimes of The Walking Dead as their preferred TV character “binge buddy.” These results illustrate viewer behavior and preferences regarding binge-watching, as Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers embark on the biggest TV binge of the season’s hottest shows starting March 31: Xfinity Watchathon Week. "There is so much great TV on today that it’s sometimes hard to stay current,” said Matt Strauss, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Video Services for Comcast Cable. “Watchathon gives customers a unique, all-you-can-watch opportunity to catch-up on this season’s most talked about programs, and it’s also a great reminder of all the content that’s available on our platform every day. With more than 50,000 choices, Xfinity On Demand is the go-to choice to catch-up and keep-up.” More detailed findings from the survey include:
|“Bingey-est” Cities||The “bingey-est” cities are Dallas, San Francisco and DC (88% each). Over four in five adults in Philadelphia (84%), NYC (83%), L.A. (83%) and Houston (82%) are TV binge-watchers. Adults in L.A. are the most frequent binge-watchers with half of them (51%) bingeing at least once a week.|
|Cast of Characters||If bingers are looking for a TV character “binge buddy,” they want one who can dispose of zombies. Nationally, the three most popular “binge buddies” are Rick Grimes of The Walking Dead (11%), Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones (8%) and Alicia Florrick of The Good Wife (7%). Boston is an outlier where the locals are more likely to prefer Lady Mary Crawley of Downton Abbey (11%).|
|Eat. Binge.||A binge-watcher cannot survive on megapixels alone. The preferred snacks are chips (42%) and popcorn (40%), but 31% will go for something sweet such as candy or cookies.|
|But…TV Over Food||When faced with a decision between food and TV, an overwhelming majority of Americans would rather feast on their big screen than a buffet. Nearly three-quarters of binge watchers (74%) would rather over-serve themselves on TV than on their favorite foods. This was also the case in Atlanta (82%), L.A. (79%), Philadelphia (79%), Boston (78%), Houston (78%), San Francisco (77%), Dallas (76%), DC (75%), NYC (71%) and Chicago (66%).|
|Set the Scene||Texas is the exception to the “lights on” rule where it’s lights out for 52% in Houston and 51% in Dallas. Also, age matters: over half of binge-watchers 18-34 (52%) would prefer to binge-watch laying down while 87% of those 65 and older would prefer to binge-watch sitting up.|
|Forget Something?||Most binge watchers (52%) have neglected something while in the act: the first activity that gets kicked to the curb is housework (35%); followed by nutrition (23%); and hygiene (9%). Two-thirds of binge-watchers in L.A. (66%) as well as three in five in Houston (61%) and Atlanta (60%) have neglected something while binge-watching as have over half of those in Chicago (57%), Philadelphia (54%), Boston (53%), DC (53%) and Dallas Fort Worth (52%).|
About Comcast Cable:Comcast Cable is the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company. Visit http://www.comcastcorporation.com for more information. 1 Binge-watching was defined as those respondents who say they watch two or more TV episodes of the same show in one sitting. The survey was of over 2,000 adults nationwide and 200 in each of the top 10 media markets.