Are You Watching Heroes (Or Any Other Show) Online?

Good news for ABC, NBC and every other TV network trying to map out the digital future: Research firm Horowitz & Associates says they get to have their cake and eat it too.

Horowitz says that an astonishing 16% of high-speed Internet users have downloaded or watched a full episode of a tv show online. Yet the networks don’t have to worry about cannibalization, Horowitz says. Online viewers are watching on the Web and regular TV:

While consumption of broadband video has grown.. television is still the preferred platform for traditional TV content. The vast majority (70%) of Internet users who watch TV online say do so because they missed the episode on TV. About two out of 10 (18%) of these respondents say they watch TV shows online to watch them a second time (after having watched them on TV), or that they watch TV shows online just when they happen to find them or when someone else tells them about them (20%)

Not sure what to make of that 16% number: Horowitz’ study is the result of self-reported surveys, so who knows how many people are actually watching an entire show, versus starting to download or watch one and then moving on to something else. But the conclusion that online is a second choice to traditional TV makes intuitive sense: We’re happy to watch SNL clips on Hulu, but if we’re going to devote an hour to Heroes, we’d really like to be on our couch, watching it on a big(ish) screen.

SAI readers are a tech-savvy bunch: Are any of you watching full tv shows on your pcs?

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