TV Watchers More ‘Sensitive’

LOS ANGELES– According to an Initiative Media Internet survey on consumer attitudes and behaviors following the Sept. 11 terror attacks, more than four out of ten Americans agree that “the attack on the World Trade Center has made me more sensitive to certain themes and storylines in the TV programs I am willing to watch.”

The survey, fielded Sept. 21-23, also found that significant percentages of consumers have changed their entertainment and media behavior following the tragedy. One out of four said they are less likely to see a movie or live entertainment, one in three said they are less likely to attend an event at an indoor or outdoor stadium. More than 34 percent indicated they are more likely to stay at home and watch TV than go out.

Regarding TV usage, reality programming seems to be the most affected by the events of Sept. 11, with almost 57 percent of respondents indicating they are now less interested in watching such shows as “Survivor” and “Amazing Race.” Almost half–just under 49 percent–are more interested in watching news and 42 percent said they are more interested in watching comedies.

People in the regions in which the tragedy and its aftermath hit most directly, including the New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. markets, are 45 percent less likely than consumers nationally to watch action/adventure programming, and almost 25 percent are less likely than other Americans to want to watch investigative or spy dramas.

When asked their reaction to ads that offered condolences to those affected by the attacks, almost 70 percent agree they were appropriate and in good taste. More than six out of ten agree such advertising is patriotic.