TVQ survey sheds light on TV scene

How do broadcasters rank in the minds of Canadians when it comes to the best HD programming, documentaries or weather? How many want to buy things by clicking their TV remotes?

Canadian Media Research’s national TVQ survey results were released yesterday, prompting broadcasters to begin spinning strategies based on the numbers.

Now in its sixth year, the survey tested consumer awareness and satisfaction with the cable, DTH and over-the-air TV channels, as well as attitudes about issues such as click-through purchasing. Conducted by BBM Analytics, the 2008 survey gathered input from a sample of 1,427 anglophone and francophone respondents aged 18+ during November and December 2007.

In total, Canadians found TSN has the best HD programming (14.8%), followed by Discovery (11.5%), Citytv (11.4%), CTV (9.8%), CBC (8.5%) and Sportsnet (5.7%).

But the numbers varied within each key demo. Adults 18-34 ranked the nets in this order: Discovery (16.8%), TSN (12.6%), Citytv (12.3%), CBC (6.2%), CTV (5.9%) and Sportsnet (3.8%). Adults 35-54 ranked the nets in this order: TSN (15%), Citytv (13.5%), CTV (12.1%), CBC (11.2%), Discovery (9.1%) and Sportsnet (6.1%). Adults 55+ ranked the nets in this order: TSN (18.3%), CTV (11.8%), Sportsnet (8.3%), CBC (7.2%), Discovery (7%) and Citytv (5.7%).

Discovery was the top-ranked channel for viewer satisfaction. In 2006, Discovery was the top specialty channel in this category. Now, the net claims the #1 position overall with 37.4% of respondents claiming to be ‘very satisfied’ with the service. Animal Planet also scored high marks (45%) for consumer awareness.

In specialty channels, Discovery Channel maintained its position in the highest spot with 28.4% of all survey respondents willing to pay $1 per month for the service, scoring almost as high as conventional nets CTV (31.1%) and CBC (29.8%) and well ahead of the major American conventional networks (16.8-20.7%). In 2007, Discovery Channel won for best documentaries (22%), beating History Television (19%) and the category’s incumbent, A&E (15%).

For weather forecast programming, Canadians chose The Weather Network and its French counterpart, MétéoMédia, as the best. In the English-language group, 62.3% of respondents chose The Weather Network, a huge margin over CTV (9.3%), Global (5.6%), Citytv (5.4%), CP24 (3.7%), A-Channel (3.5%) and CBC (2.6%). In French homes, MétéoMédia was favoured by 77.8%, followed in rank by TVA (7%), Radio-Canada (6%), RDI (3%), TQS (2.4%) and LCN (2.2%).

The number of Canadians who said they would like to be able to purchase products or services by clicking their TV remotes grew slightly in 2007 to 11.8% (up from 10.1% in 2006), but the majority disagreed (42.5%) or strongly disagreed (43.3%) with the idea. About 2.4% strongly agreed that this method of click-through purchasing is a good idea.

How many Canadians order pay-per-view movies or special events from cable or satellite companies (English-only, 18+)? About 80% said they never do; 12.7% said rarely, 3.7% said once every two to three months and 3.6% said once a month or more.