Television overconsumption and underconsumption in Spain

Cristina Etayo-Perez, Alberto Bayo-Moriones

Abstract

Television viewing is one of the activities to which we devote a significant amount of time every day. At times, however, people may watch less TV than they would like (underconsumption), while at other times, the opposite is the case (overconsumption). In this context, the aim of this study was to analyze the sociodemographic characteristics of viewers and explore television behaviors associated with a greater incidence of television overconsumption and underconsumption. The statistical information is drawn from a sample of 1,000 Spanish viewers. Our results indicate that both overconsumption and underconsumption are more prevalent among women than among men, and that viewers between 65 and 74 years old are those whose television consumption best matches their personal wishes. Overconsumption is more closely linked with watching several TV programs at the same time, and continuing to watch television even though the content does not appeal to the viewer. Underconsumption is related to switching on the TV set without knowing what is on. The results obtained show the need to take into account quantity, not only quality, in studies of television viewing. They also show that television underconsumption and overconsumption are complex phenomena that require inquiry from a multidisciplinary range of analytical perspectives.

Keywords

Television consumption; Television-viewing habits; Media consumption; Media research; Television viewer; Television

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