About 73% of Comcast and Time Warner Cable subscribers surveyed said TV Everywhere services -- which promise access to a wealth of video online for no extra charge -- are an "excellent" or "good" idea, according to research firm Solutions Research Group.
However, SRG said, a significant number of respondents also expressed skepticism about the proposed Internet TV services, with video reliability the most frequently cited issue.
Comcast this month expects to launch a 5,000-household test of a service it calls On Demand Online, and so far has lined up 23 networks to provide full-length TV show episodes and movies, including CBS, HBO, Starz, TNT and TBS.
Toronto-based SRG in late June and early July surveyed 500 Comcast and Time Warner Cable TV subscribers 18 or older who also have Internet access.
When asked about a service that would allow access to cable channels on the Web or mobile device, 28% said the idea was "excellent" and 45% said it was "good."
Of those 18 to 49, about 80% said the TV Everywhere concept was "excellent" or "good," compared with roughly 60% of those 50 or older who said the same, according to SRG. Meanwhile, 87% of respondents using Hulu.com or Fancast.com approved of the idea.
The top 10 channels respondents said they wanted to access in full over the Web at home were the major broadcast networks - ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox - followed by ESPN, HBO, CNN, Discovery Channel, History Channel and Syfy. Of that list, Comcast has announced the participation of only three for On Demand Online: CBS, HBO and AETN's History.
Among those who viewed TV Everywhere services favorably, the main perceived benefits cited in open-ended responses were: convenience; remote viewing, such as when traveling; getting better value from a cable TV subscription; watching programming on a PC in rooms without a TV or if other household members are watching something else in the main TV room; and the ability to catch up with missed shows.