Study: Digital Connections Fuel Primetime Viewing

As consumers become more connected (literally and figuratively) to online broadband and digital TV, they are more likely to become engaged in primetime television programming, according to one of the major providers of primetime content, the CBS Corp.

According to the report, conducted by CBS Chief Researcher David Poltrack, 30 percent of the U.S. population was "fully connected" by last fall--meaning they had both broadband and DTV connections at home. That's up from 2 percent a year earlier in fall 2005. Poltrack found this group (described by CBS as "upscale" and "better educated"), is 20 percent more likely to watch the top 10 primetime programs than the national average.

"This sector of the audience is growing," Poltrack told The Hollywood Reporter.

"By offering them new ways to connect to their favorite shows--whether it's Web sites, podcasts, ring tones or other mobile features--we've been able to deepen the bond these fully connected viewers have with our programming," he said.

More than half of those polled were aware that they could stream network programs over the Internet, and of this group about 46 percent have streamed at least one program. But the CBS study also revealed that fewer than 30 percent were aware of the February 2009 deadline for broadcasters to switch of analog.