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

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 Season

December 13, 1999

Media contact: Katie Stephan, 703-295-4184
Jim Smith, 973-649-8850

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*, STARZ! and SHOWTIME*.

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 www.bellatlantic.com/digitaltv. 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 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.

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 Heaven.

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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