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Internet

Net fans switch on PC, not TV

Web surfers are spending less time watching television, according to a new survey, which shows people may cut out up to 10 hours of television a week after hooking up online access.

    Web surfers are spending less time watching television, according to a survey released Thursday, which showed that people may cut out up to 10 hours of television a week after hooking up online access.

    The survey, sponsored by online games site Pogo.com, said that 52 percent of TV viewers watch less once they have Internet access. Of those, 49 percent view 6 hours to 10 hours less each week.

    "While television may have 50 to 100 channels to offer you, the Internet literally has millions," said Garth Chouteau, director of corporate communications at Pogo.com, which was recently acquired by EA.com, a subsidiary of entertainment software maker Electronic Arts. "Better yet, the channels on the Internet provide a considerably higher degree of flexibility or customization on the part of the user."

    Still, 62 percent of Web surfers said they prefer television for relaxation and entertainment.

    Among the favorite online activities of Web users, 77 percent prefer general surfing, 45 percent play online games, 42 percent shop and 31 percent listen to or download music.

    According to the survey, 39 percent of Net users say TV quality has declined. It found that 47 percent of the respondents watch less television because the Net quickly provides them with more information.

    "It boils down to television being more of a passive, leisure-time experience and the Internet being an interactive, leisure-time experience," Chouteau said. "When you ask people why they're not spending as much time watching television, the No. 1 answer is that they watch less TV because online they get what they want, when they want it."

    The survey, which polled 1,000 people in January, was conducted by online research firm Greenfield Online.