TV Viewers’ Habits Deepen Post-Attack

LOS ANGELES–Americans’ TV viewing patterns and attitudes towards advertising not only continue to be altered by the events of Sept. 11 and their aftermath, but the changes are becoming even more pronounced, according to a new study released by Initiative Media North America.

In the study, eighty percent of respondents believed that advertisers should continue their regular commercials unless a major event occurs, and 50 percent said they liked advertisements with patriotic themes.

In addition, more consumers now cite cable news as their primary source for information about terrorist activities and U.S. retaliation than the broadcast networks. The Internet survey of 500 consumers, fielded on Oct. 10, follows a similar survey the media agency conducted Sept. 23-24 and was designed to gauge how consumer attitudes may have changed following the launch of U.S. attacks on Afghanistan.

In the most recent survey, 86 percent of respondents said they were more interested in news programs, compared to just under 49 percent in the first study. Interest in comedies jumped from 42 percent in the September study to 58 percent in the Oct. 10 survey. And viewers continue to turn away from reality shows, with 83 percent expressing less interest in October compared to about 57 percent in the September survey.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents said that cable news was their primary source of information, compared to 34 percent who cited television network news.