Finally the Answer to Y2K: Find Something Good to Watch on TV

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Finally the Answer to Y2K:
Find Something Good to Watch on TV

Bell Atlantic's Unscientific and Random Survey Explores the
Impact of 'Television Anxiety' on TV Viewers' Holiday

December 13, 1999


Katie Stephan,

Jim Smith,

RESTON, Va. -- Flipping channels and finding nothing on television but
reruns may increase your anxiety about the millennium computer bug,
according to an unscientific and random survey recently conducted by Bell
Atlantic Video.

Finding nothing to watch may also increase your online shopping and
make you less likely to kiss under the mistletoe, the survey showed.

The survey, which explores the impact of "television anxiety"
on the holiday season, also found that people who were happy with their
television viewing choices, feel better about the holiday season, spend
more money on gifts and have been invited to more holiday parties. (See
sidebar for more findings from the survey.)

Television anxiety occurs when a viewer has high hopes of finding
something great to watch on TV, but is forced to settle for reruns after
endlessly flipping channels.

"Shopping and entertaining visitors from out-of-town can make the
holidays a stressful time for many people, said Dick Beville, president of
Bell Atlantic Video. "We found that it takes more than eggnog and
office parties for people to have a happy holiday season. TV viewers with
extensive DIRECTV* programming choices available from Bell Atlantic
Video will have a more enjoyable holiday."

Bell Atlantic Video, which offers DIRECTV programming with access to
more than 210 channels in digital-quality picture and CD-quality sound,
conducted this unscientific and random phone survey of 438 residents of
Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey Nov.
23-30, excluding Thanksgiving Day and the following weekend.

Bell Atlantic customers can choose a variety of DIRECTV programming
packages. DIRECTV Total Choice* package, the most popular with
DIRECTV customers, features more than 95 channels, including the top
cable 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*,

With all programming packages, subscribers have access to as many as 55
pay-per-view choices a day, including special event pay-per-view
selections, as well as every major 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 Certain restrictions apply.

DIRECTV is the nation's leading digital satellite television service with
more than 7.8 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 more than 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 Corporation. Hughes Electronics is the world's
leading provider of digital television entertainment, and satellite and wireless
systems and services. The earnings of Hughes Electronics, a unit of General
Motors Corporation, are used to calculate the earnings per share attributable to
the General Motors Class H common stock (NYSE: GMH). Visit DIRECTV on
the World Wide Web at

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.

Did You Know That...
According To Bell Atlantic Video's Survey

Y2K is bugging me!
Computer pros and air traffic controllers aren't the only ones worried
about Y2K. Some 88 percent of those flipping channels at the time of the
survey said they are worried about the Y2K millennium bug. Only 17
percent of people who were watching a new episode of a TV show when
we called said they were worried about what will happen at midnight this
New Year's Eve.
What you're watching on TV may determine where you do your holiday
shopping. Some 45 percent of people who were watching reruns at the
time of the survey do their holiday shopping online. By contrast, 77
percent of the people who were watching a new episode said they do their
holiday shopping in a mall.

A kiss is just a kiss...
Only 6 percent of people who were flipping channels when we called said
they have kissed someone under the mistletoe. But 28 percent of people
who were watching new episodes of shows said they've smooched under
the holiday greenery.

I just smile looking at all the Christmas trees
Some 63 percent of people who were watching a new episode said the
holiday season makes them feel happy. By contrast, 45 percent of those
who were flipping channels at the time of the survey said that the holiday
season makes them feel sad.

Bah humbug, not another rerun!
Maybe the "Scrooge" in your life isn't really cheap, perhaps he
just can't stand to watch one more rerun. Some 95 percent of respondents
who were watching a new episode when we called said they spend more
than $20 per holiday gift. However, 59 percent of respondents who were
watching reruns said they spend $20 or less per gift.

Why your jingle bells aren't ringing off the hook...
Some 92 percent of the people who were not invited to any holiday parties
said they were not happy with their TV choices.

Homer Claus is coming to town
Some 61 percent of respondents who were flipping channels said that
holiday dinner with their family could be an episode of The Simpsons,
while 56 percent of people who were watching a new episode said that
holiday dinner with their family was more like an episode of Seventh

Making a list and checking it twice
Some 95 percent of respondents who are pleased with their TV choices
plan to send 20 or more holiday cards. Only 40 percent of those suffering
from TV anxiety plan to send more than 20 holiday cards.

Suburban life fuels the holiday spirit

Of those surveyed, more people who live in Boston suffer from television
anxiety (86 percent of those surveyed), compared to other areas surveyed.
New Jersey had the fewest number of people suffering from television
anxiety (17 percent of those surveyed).

TV anxiety rankings among Bell Atlantic Video markets

  1. Boston
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Pittsburgh
  4. Philadelphia
  5. New Jersey

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