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Extra! Extra! Read All About It! NATOA Conference September 23, 2005 Is Anyone Out There Watching? Is Anyone Out There Watching? 66.8% Cable Penetration of TV Households 390 National Video Programming Services/Networks Source: NCTA web site Background of this presentation
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Is Anyone Out There Watching? 66.8% Cable Penetration of TV Households 390 National Video Programming Services/Networks Source: NCTA web site
Background of this presentation • This presentation is an update from research done 3 years ago • 8 statistically valid government channel cable viewership surveys were reviewed to find trends in government access channel viewership • The results from 3 years ago are compared to the results from these more recent surveys
Awareness of Government Channels • Viewer awareness generally remains high for channels that have channel locations under channel 13 • Tucson – 94% • Murfreesboro – 96%
Awareness of Government Channels • Viewer awareness generally goes lower for higher channel numbers • Tampa channel 15 – 55% • Seattle channel 21 – 69% have watched - King County channel 22 – 19% watch the channel regularly or occasionally
Awareness of Government Channels • There are always exceptions • Fort Worth – channel 7 – 79% is low given channel location • Santa Barbara – channel 18 – 88% is high given channel location • PCTA, CA – 50.1% - channel 3, but has 4 different cities served
Awareness of Government Channels may not matter • Awareness does not equal viewership • For example, many of us may be aware of the SciFi Channel, Oxygen or the Sundance Channel, but that doesn’t mean that we view the channel because we are aware of them
Government Channelsappear to have strong regular viewership • % of viewership once a month or more: • 74% Murfreesboro, TN • 52% Fort Worth, TX • 49.8% Tampa, FL • 47.4% Santa Barbara, CA • 41% Seattle, WA • 40.3% PCTA, CA (Huntington Beach, Stanton, Fountain Valley, Westminster)
Where does the viewership come from? • Overwhelmingly from channel surfing! • 85% PCTA • 76.6% in Tampa • 67.3% in Santa Barbara • 65% in Murfreesboro
Council Meetings are #1! • Generally speaking, City Council meeting coverage remains the number one viewed show on Government cable channels. • Local news programs are a close second and in some cities are edging out Council coverage!
Council Meetings are #1! • Tampa 25.6% watch Council, second most watched show is 5.7% • Murfreesboro 52% watch Council, second most watched is 19%
Local news programsare growing in popularity • Santa Barbara 47.6% City Council, 46.9% Inside Santa Barbara • Tucson 10% City News, 9% City Council
Prime time remains the right time to get viewers • 46% Tampa watch in prime time • 48% Tucson watch in prime time • 62% Murfreesboro watch in prime time
People still like bulletin boards • In Tucson, six of ten weekly viewers tune in occasionally • In Murfreesboro, after public meetings, it’s the next type of programming viewers want most • When PCTA asked Stanton, who doesn’t have a channel, more people wanted a bulletin board than City Gov’t programming!
What viewers want more of still varies from community to community • Tampa wants more neighborhood info and live concerts • Seattle wants more documentaries about Seattle, arts events and community festivals
What viewers want more of still varies from community to community • Fort Worth wants more local news, sports and community events • Murfreesboro – 85% want nothing in particular!
Webstreaming • 20% in Murfreesboro, 34.7% in Santa Barbara, 37.1% interested in channel streaming • In Tucson, 40% are interested in seeing clips of shows, but only 2% have done so
Other questions you can ask! • It is normal to expect viewership to go down over time as the number of competing cable channels increases • Are there other measures besides viewership that help to ascertain the value of government cable channels?
Other questions you can ask! • In Tampa, viewers are asked to grade the channel from “A” to “E” on whether they feel they can trust the info on the channel, whether the channel is a valuable community service and more
Other questions you can ask! • In Fort Worth, viewers are asked if the PEG channels help retain cable subscribers and stop them from going to satellite TV. (53% said yes!)
Other questions you can ask! • In Tucson, viewers are asked if government cable programming makes it more likely that they will get involved in the community, vote in an election or if the programming gives them more confidence in City government
Other questions you can ask! • PCTA asked respondents to compare the value of the Government channel to C-SPAN, Court-TV, PBS and the California Channel. (The channel was valued more than C-SPAN and PBS!)
Other questions you can ask! • Murfreesboro asked viewers to value the importance of the government cable channel. The channel was considered more important for the cable company to carry than A&E, Animal Planet, C-SPAN, MTSU and the Home Shopping Channel. The channel did lose out to CNN, however!
Tips to Take from this Presentation • Since most viewership comes from channel surfing. Your interstitials are very important! • Also, a high interest in City Council meetings correlates with a high viewership so if your City Council is dealing with a lot of controversial issues, your ratings will soar!
Tips to Take from this Presentation • Generally, there is a high interest and viewership of local news when it is available so consider producing local news if you don’t already. • Fewer PEG channels with better channel locations should be preferred to lots of PEG channels with higher channel numbers
Tips to Take from this Presentation • Consider adding other questions that ask about the value of your channel and the importance of the information you present. This will add and enhance your viewership numbers.
Special Thanks! • Tampa, FL • Tucson, AZ • Fort Worth, TX • Seattle, WA • Santa Barbara, CA • Murfreesboro, TN • PCTA, CA • King County, WA • And others for sharing your surveys!