12.15.1998|Corporate

If You're Wondering How Much Your Christmas Bonus Will Be This Year...Just Hope Your Boss Had Something Good to Watch on TV the Night Before!

If You're Wondering How Much Your Christmas Bonus Will Be This Year...Just Hope Your Boss Had Something Good to Watch on TV the Night Before!

Bell Atlantic Unscientific and Random Survey Uncovers the Effects of Television and Video Anxiety during the Holiday Season

December 15, 1998

Media contact: Larry Plumb, 703-974-3428

RESTON, Va. -- Imagine how different A Christmas Carol would be if Scrooge had found something good to watch on TV. And would the Grinch have stolen Christmas?

According to an unscientific and random survey conducted recently by Bell Atlantic Video, people who found something good to watch on TV said they were happier about the holidays than people who were not satisfied with their TV viewing choices.

Bell Atlantic Video, which offers local channels and top satellite programming from DIRECTV* and U.S. Satellite Broadcasting**, surveyed 500 people while they were watching TV. All were residents of the Washington, D.C. area or New Jersey.

The purpose of the survey was to discover the effects of "entertainment anxiety" on people's holiday season. Entertainment anxiety occurs when someone can't find something good to watch on television or at the video store.

Interesting findings include:

Television may be the very root of in-law tension. Some 73 percent of people who were flipping the channels when called were upset about their in-laws coming to visit this holiday season, while only 33 percent of people who were watching a new episode of a show were upset.

Santa might have met his match in Heather Locklear. People who were watching a current TV series, such as Melrose Place, were happier about the holidays than people who were watching re-runs or who were flipping the channels -- with 95 percent of series watchers saying they were happy, compared with 64 percent of those watching reruns and 84 percent of those who were flipping.

A good TV line-up means more money for charities. Only 50 percent of people who suffered television anxiety in the last 24 hours said they gave more money to charity this year than last. However, 82 percent of people who didn't suffer TV anxiety said they gave more money to charity this year.

A fruitcake is only as good as one's video choices. 3 percent of people who suffered from video anxiety in the last 24 hours eat fruitcake during the holidays, compared to 21 percent of people who didn't suffer from video anxiety in the last 24 hours, and who admitted to eating fruitcake.

"With the holidays approaching, people are finding themselves searching for something good to watch on TV and whether they find something seems to have a major effect on their lives," said Katie Stephan, staff director for Bell Atlantic Video. "We thought it was important to delve into people's television psyche for the holidays, since our more than 200 available channels of satellite programming and local channel reception are the perfect antidote for people suffering from television anxiety."

The survey was conducted from Friday, December 4 through Tuesday, December 8 (excluding Sunday, December 6) during random phone calls to residents throughout the Washington metropolitan area and in northern New Jersey. Participants were asked a series of questions regarding their viewing habits, such as whether or not they were currently watching TV and what they were watching. Participants were then asked questions relating to holiday activities and whether or not they partake in them.

Bell Atlantic Video has combined the most extensive DIRECTV and USSB programming choices and competitive pricing with Bell Atlantic installation and customer service. Bell Atlantic's offer includes a high quality rooftop antenna installed to deliver access to local broadcast channels without a cable service connection. More information on the service is available at 1-888-379-2355 or on the Bell Atlantic World Wide Web site at www.bellatlantic.com/digitaltv.

DIRECTV is the nation's leading digital satellite television service with more than 4.2 million subscribers nationwide. The service offers access to more than 185 channels of digital entertainment, including popular networks such as CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN, and USA Network. In addition, subscribers can select from optional professional and collegiate sports subscription services, and as many as 55 pay per view movie and event choices a day.

United States Satellite Broadcasting Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: USSB), provides consumers nationwide with an unprecedented collection of premium movie channels. Only via the DIRECTV System can consumers get programming from USSB and DIRECTV. USSB's headquarters are located in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With 42 million telephone access lines and eight 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.

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