News

TV, Web Sites Both Drive Traffic

11/26/2000 7:00 PM Eastern

Food Network and ESPN outpace the four major broadcast TV networks in drawing viewers to their respective Web sites, while Discovery.com does the best job in luring Web surfers to the TV, according to a new study by Burke Inc. and NFO Interactive.

"These networks have clearly done an excellent job of turning their identities into brands and moving those brands to the World Wide Web," Burke vice president Cary Nadel said.

NFO surveyed 8,605 Internet users in October and asked which of 315 programs on 27 cable and broadcast networks they had watched in the previous three months. Viewers were then asked if they had ever visited the network's Web site for that program, either before or after viewing it.

Participants also were asked if they ever decided to watch a TV show based on what they found beforehand on a Web site.

Of the 2,682 Food Network viewers in the survey, 876 said they later visited food.com, a penetration rate of 33 percent. ESPN came in second at 30 percent, with 1,179 Web visitors among 3,970 viewers.

Food's
Emeril Live

generated the lion's share of cross-platform usage, with 714 Web visits.
Food Finds
,
Good Eats
,
Inside Scoop
,
Calling All Cooks

and
FoodNation
, although less popular, still caused one-quarter of their respective TV viewers to scan the Web.

National Football League and Major League Baseball coverage drove ESPN.com visits.

Although the broadcast networks trailed Food and ESPN in terms of percentages, each sent more viewers to their Web sites due to their higher TV ratings. CBS'
Survivor

and
Big Brother

helped drive viewers online.

Of the 4,595 Discovery viewers, 417 said they watched a TV program based on the information they gathered on discovery.com, translating to a 9 percent pickup rate. Food was second, at 8 percent, with 220 of its 2,682 viewers saying they watched a TV program based on Web site information.

"It's clear that network Web sites can be effective ways to promote program viewership," said Tim Washer, vice president of media and telecom practice for NFO Interactive.

In other findings, Burke and NFO found Internet users spend 3.8 hours per week watching TV while being online. Some 6 percent of
Survivor

viewers went to the CBS Web site sometime during the program to get more information. For NBC's Olympics and ABC's
Who Wants to be a Millionaire
, the figure was 8 percent.

Some 16 percent of those surveyed said they had a high-speed Internet connection. Those broadband users said they watched 15.9 hours of TV each week. Narrowband users said they watched 17.4 hours of TV per week.

But broadband users said they spent five hours a week watching TV while online, compared to 3.7 hours per week for narrowband users.

"If networks use their Web sites creatively, they should be able to migrate content back and forth between television and the Internet," Washer said.


TV-Web Traffic

Network Viewers Web visitors Percentage


TV-to-Web


Food


2,682


876


33


ESPN


3,970


1,179


30


CBS


7,920


2,218


28


ABC


7,979


2,118


27


NBC


8,127


2,094


26


Fox


7,208


1,503


21


MTV


2,759


551


20


HBO


2,913


517


18


Nick


2,297


400


17


Discovery


4,595


793


17


Web-to-TV


Discovery


4,595


417


9


Food


2,682


220


8


Disney


862


53


6


PBS


4,700


283


6


TLC


3,713


218


6


HBO


2,913


166


6


Showtime


1,468


81


6


CNBC


980


48


5


ESPN


3,970


188


5


MTV


2,759


125


5


Source: Burke Inc. and NFO Interactive

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