Skip to main content

HDTV subscribers show propensity to watch HD programs first

A fifth of HDTV subscribers make it a point to watch HD programming “every time” they watch TV, and 45 percent watch HD programs “most of the time,” according to new research conducted by The Nielsen Company for the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM).

The research, released June 30, also found that 41 percent of survey respondents who owned an HDTV subscribe to an HD programming service.

According to the research, digital cable and HDTV also are poised for further growth. Of respondents without HD devices and service, those with interest in digital cable grew from 9 percent to 20 percent from 2005 to 2007. Similarly, those who expressed interested in HDTV sets during the same period climbed from 18 percent to 28 percent.

The survey also examined how watching TV content online is impacting viewing habits. It found that while their online viewing is gaining in popularity, 94 percent of adults who subscribe to cable or satellite TV prefer to watch television on a traditional TV set.

By the numbers, the percentage of respondents who are watching TV via alternate delivery methods is small but significant. Fourteen percent of respondents said they have watched TV programming on desktop computers, 9 percent on laptops, 6 percent on video-enabled mobile phones and 5 percent on portable video players.

CTAM and Nielsen Entertainment Television partnered in conducting the study. Data was collected via telephone survey of 1200 adults and 300 teens who subscribe to standard cable, digital cable or satellite TV services. Over-the-air TV households were not included.

For more information, visit