Maybe Jesse Ventura Was Onto Something: Republicans Watch Four Times More Wrestling than Democrats

Maybe Jesse Ventura Was Onto Something:
Republicans Watch Four Times More Wrestling
than Democrats

Bell Atlantic Video's Unscientific and Random Survey
Pay Per View Habits

August 26, 1999


Katie Stephan,

Joan Rasmussen,

RESTON, Va. -- Would you think that Republicans are big professional
wrestling fans? Or that people who drive pick-up trucks would rather
watch the acclaimed Italian film Life is Beautiful than the shoot-'em-up
Lethal Weapon 4? Would you believe that men would rather watch a
"chick flick" than a comedy?

That's what TV watchers told Bell Atlantic Video.

According to a survey of pay per view viewing habits conducted by Bell
Atlantic Video, 39 percent of those who ordered wrestling matches are
registered Republicans. They are four times more likely to order wrestling
matches than Democrats surveyed.

"You have to wonder whether political consultants for Minnesota
Governor Jesse 'The Body' Ventura knew Republicans were big wrestling
fans and might provide the swing vote for the independent
candidate," said Dick Beville, president of Bell Atlantic Video.
"We had as much fun with this survey that we hope our customers
have with our satellite TV service."

Among other viewer preference surprises was the fact that 50 percent of
those surveyed who drive pick-up trucks said they normally order foreign
films while only 25 percent of those surveyed who drive BMWs said their
viewer palette includes foreign films.

Among gender-based results, the number one movie recently ordered by
men surveyed was the romantic comedy (a.k.a. "chick flick")
You've Got Mail. Women chose Adam Sandler's more raucous The
Waterboy most often.

Bell Atlantic Video, which offers DIRECTV* programming with access to
more than 210 channels in digital-quality picture and CD-quality sound,
conducted an unscientific and random survey of 632 Bell Atlantic Video
subscribers in Boston, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Washington, D.C.,
Philadelphia and Baltimore comparing pay per view ordering habits.

In general, the survey found that comedies are the type of movie most
often ordered by those surveyed (20 percent), with dramas a close second
(18 percent). Thursday nights are the most popular night to order pay per
view movies by those surveyed (28 percent). Candy beats out popcorn as
the snack of choice while watching pay per view movies (34 percent to 31
percent). And, 56 percent of those surveyed said that they have ordered a
pay per view event, such as a concert or boxing.

The purpose of the survey was to explore entertainment preferences
among Bell Atlantic Video customers. The survey was conducted from
July 16-21 via random phone calls.

Participants were asked a series of questions regarding their viewing
habits, such as what type of movies they normally order and how often
they order pay per view movies. To correlate viewership findings with
lifestyles, they also were asked a series of demographic questions such as
the type of car they drive, their political preferences, their pets and their
viewing partners.

According to Beville, the survey confirmed that the broad array of
programming choices DIRECTV offers "provide something for even
the fussiest of television viewers."

Bell Atlantic customers can choose a variety of programming packages.
Total Choice*, the most popular DIRECTV programming package,
features more than 60 top networks and 31 commercial-free music
channels for $29.99 per month. Customers can also choose from a
selection of premium movie packages, offering multiple channels from
such networks as HBO*, STARZ! and SHOWTIME*.

With all programming packages, subscribers have access to as many as 55
pay per view choices a day, special event pay per view selections, and
every professional and collegiate sports subscription available.

More information on the service is available by calling 1-888-379-2355
toll-free or by visiting Bell Atlantic's Web site at
www.bellatlantic.com/digitaltv. Certain restrictions apply.

DIRECTV is the nation's leading digital satellite television service with
more than 7.4 million customers, including customers subscribing to the
medium-power PRIMESTAR By DIRECTV service.

Located in Reston, Va., Bell Atlantic Video is a subsidiary of Bell
Atlantic. Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines
and nearly 10 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic
companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data
services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest
publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also
among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications
markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.

*DIRECTV and Total Choice are registered trademarks of DIRECTV,
Inc., a unit of Hughes Electronics Corp. The earnings of Hughes
Electronics are used to calculate the earnings per share attributable to
GMH (NYSE symbol) common stock. Visit DIRECTV on the World
Wide Web at www.directv.com.

HBO is a registered service mark of TIME WARNER Entertainment
Company, L.P. SHOWTIME is a service mark of SHOWTIME
Networks, Inc., a VIACOM Company. All other trademarks and service
marks are the property of their respective owners.