Writers strike pushes viewers to DVDs, video games

Survey shows that strike has cut TV viewership, turning people to other forms of entertainment. Even reading has gotten a boost.

Tech Culture
The Hollywood writers strike looks like a boon for the DVD and video game industries.

According to a survey released Thursday from new-media consultancy company Interpret, TV viewership has suffered because of the strike, particularly for dramas and sitcoms. Interpret finds that 27 percent of respondents are spending less time watching network series and 12 percent are watching less cable and satellite series.

Conversely, 43 percent of respondents say they are spending more time watching DVD movies and 23 percent say they're watching more DVDs of TV series. Another 26 percent say they are spending more time playing video games. Even reading has gotten a boost with 38 percent reading more books and magazines.

"The strike makes scripted programming more valuable than ever," Interpret CEO Michael Dowling said. "As top shows disappear from primetime, viewers may go back and view critically lauded TV series they missed the first time around, play more video games, or watch more movies on DVD."

The survey was conducted online on January 11 and 12 among a representative sample of Americans 18 to 49--the demographic coveted by advertisers. It also found that 94 percent of Americans are aware of the writers strike and that about one-third have changed their media consumption habits as a result.

The strike began in early November. One of the main sticking points is Internet revenue. The writers want a share of ad revenue from online broadcasts of TV programs.

Autoplay: ON Autoplay: OFF