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Survey asks: 'What is your main reason for watching TV?'

February 23, 2012 | 11:13 am

LeadA new poll has uncovered a dirty secret. People watch television to be entertained and informed.

That's right. the majority of Americans who watch television are apparently hoping to be amused or perhaps even learn something. It doesn't even matter what one's political affiliation is when it comes to this topic. Republicans and Democrats feel the same about the small screen.

This startling information comes from Poll Position, which conducted what it called a "national scientific telephone survey." Participants were asked, "What is your main reason for watching television?" Poll Position surveyed 1,113 people to obtain this information. To be sure, there is a 3% margin of error.

While there is a natural "duh" response to most of the survey's findings, there were two nuggets of note. Of those surveyed, almost the same number (34%) said they turned on the tube for news. Surprisingly, only 12% cited sports as the primary motivation of their television watching. Given the high cost of sports programming and what that does to cable bills, that figure may bear watching.

No word yet if next month Poll Position will announce that a survey has revealed that people go to restaurants to eat food and socialize.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Actor Bruce Greenwood handles a snake in the television series "The River." Credit: Francisco Roman / ABC

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