Writers’ strike not turning off Americans


MUMBAI: TNS, one of the leading market insight and information companies, has announced results from a survey of TV viewers gauging their support and reaction to the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, which has been ongoing since 5 November, 2007. As writers continue to march the picket lines, the survey finds that the strike has caused no impact on the viewing habits of 74 percent of Americans. Additional survey findings include:


– Almost two thirds of Americans do not support either side in the writers’ strike

– 34 percent do support the writers (West Coast slightly more supportive at 39 percent)

– Two percent support the television producers

– At 38 percent, men are slightly more supportive of the strike than women

– Almost 20 percent of respondents do not support the strike because they do not know why writers are striking


The research also reveals that only 22 percent of Americans are watching significantly less TV than they were before — making the immediate impact of the strike manageable for both broadcasters and advertisers.


TNS Technology and Media, TNS North America, Vice President, Don Ryan stated, “While the effect of the strike has not affected mainstream viewing habits, the decline is quickly approaching. We will begin to see an overall cut in TV viewing by 10 to 20 percent in the next few weeks, once many shows begin airing reruns of recent episodes.”


As the strike continues, advertisers and networks are already taking note of this potential drop off, adjusting forecasts accordingly. As viewers start to see a greater impact on the quality of aired programs, consumer sentiment may begin to run more strongly against the producers.


The study is based on a representative national sample of 2,500 people aged 18+ using the TNS 6th Dimension Access Panel. The internet based survey was completed the week of 3 December.