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CAB Survey Reprise: TV Still Rules

Memo from the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau to the advertising industry: Television’s death has been greatly exaggerated.

That’s the upshot of a reprised consumer survey commissioned by CAB to deconstruct some prevailing assumptions surrounding an explosion of alternate TV-viewing devices like video-enabled iPods and TV-capable mobile phones.

Preliminary findings from CAB’s second wave of research about viewing trends were unveiled May 8 at the trade association’s annual Sales Management Conference, held in concert with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s 2007 Cable Show.

Among findings presented by CAB president Sean Cunningham:

  • Viewing to traditional TV is at an all-time high of 31 hours per week, per person, despite an “explosion” of new viewing options and gadgets.
  • Traditional linear television remains the biggest driver of interest in video across all devices.
  • There’s still a broad acceptance of advertising as a quid-pro-quo for getting to watch high-quality television – a sort of “advertising contract” with viewers that doesn’t seem to prevail in equal measure with alternative devices.

Cunningham wants CAB members to use the findings to reassure advertisers that TV still works as a powerful marketing instrument, and in fact appears to benefit from growing interest in video consumption at large. “What no one bargained for…is that in all this bombardment, cable TV thrived. This is the message,” Cunningham said.