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Study: Education Drives Minority Video Penetration

Members of minority groups view access to cable or satellite video as a strong "quality of life" component, according to a recently released study, "Urban Marketing Report: A Tapestry of Media & Life."

The national study, conducted by Durham. N.C.-based W.G. Smith & Associates, is a statistical analysis of the media habits, markets and demographics of minorities and the general population.

Chief researcher Willis Smith said the report concluded that "traditional broadband video services have an association with the quality of life of U.S. minority groups, and that this relationship has been vastly underestimated."

The research indicated that minority groups with access to multichannel video had higher social, economic, educational and occupational levels within most of the categories measured by the study, Smith said.

Contrary to mainstream purchasing patterns, Smith said that education — not income — proved to be a stronger driver for video services, particularly among African-Americans.

The survey also found that minority groups conduct a great deal of "self-marketing and have a high demand for informational programming." To that end, the report showed that Hispanics had the highest viewing index for The Learning Channel, at 19.2 percent, versus 17 percent for African-Americans and 14 percent for Asian-Americans.

By contrast, the general population's viewing index for that network was 13.8 percent.

Among other areas, the study (accessible at examined gaps in video access within the markets that are home to significant minority groups. Smith said that the Southeast was home to 37 percent of all African-Americans without access to cable or satellite video services, even though this area has a larger black population than any other region in the country.

Similarly, the Los Angeles DMA counts 25 percent of all Hispanics and 31 percent of all Asian-Americans without access to multichannel TV in the top five media markets.