UltimateTV Viewers Preference Survey Finds Regis Philbin Second to None (None of the Above, That Is)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 8, 2001 — Most people would rather dine alone than with Regis Philbin of
“Who Wants to be a Millionaire”
or Anne Robinson of
“Weakest Link”
; would choose to take the finale of
“M*A*S*H” to a desert island; and believe comedy is king among all programming genres, according to a recent survey from the Microsoft® UltimateTV® service conducted by E-Poll. The UltimateTV/E-Poll survey of 1,020 respondents was conducted Aug. 24-27, 2001, with a sample error of plus or minus 3 percent.

Philbin was chosen second to none by respondents when they were asked which TV host — Anne Robinson (
“Weakest Link”
), Jeff Probst (
), Joe Rogan (
“Fear Factor”
) or Julie Chen (
“Big Brother”
) — they’d most like to have join them for dinner. The majority of survey respondents, however, chose none of the above (43.7 percent). Philbin garnered 23 percent of the vote for second place and Probst was third with 10.1 percent, followed by Rogan (9.6 percent), Robinson (8.6 percent) and Chen (4.8 percent).

“At first, we were surprised to see that more people would rather eat alone than with any of the TV hosts included in the survey,”
said Tim Bucher, vice president of Consumer Products for UltimateTV.
“But ratings for alternative programming are on the downswing, and it makes sense that the survey results would also reflect television audiences’ preferences.”

The final episode of
was the top choice (13.1 percent) when respondents were asked what program they would take to a desert island.
was followed by
“The Contest”
episode of
(11.8 percent), the
“Live Aid”
concert (9.4 percent), the U.S. men’s 1980 Olympic hockey team win (5.9 percent), Johnny Carson’s last night as host of
“The Tonight Show”
(4.7 percent), the telefilm
“The Day After”
(3.9 percent), the Beatles’ first appearance on
“The Ed Sullivan Show”
(2.6 percent) and the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana (1.9 percent).

Sitcoms are the top programming choice across all genders and ages, according to the UltimateTV survey. Of total respondents, 26.3 percent said that they preferred to watch a sitcom over any other programming genre, as did 28 percent of men, 29.4 percent of women, 35.4 percent of people 18-24 and 26.2 percent of people 25-54.

Dramas came in second among total respondents with 14.4 percent, followed by documentary/information/biography with 10.6 percent, sports with 9.1 percent and reality shows with 8.7 percent. Second choice for men was sports with 16.7 percent, while documentary/information/biography was third with 11.3 percent. Women’s second choice was drama (21 percent), followed by reality shows (10.7 percent). Among people 18-24, animation was second (17.8 percent) and reality shows third (12.7 percent). People 25-54 put drama second (15.1 percent) and documentary/information/biography third (11.2 percent).

A representative group of adults 18-54 was randomly selected from the E-Poll online panel. Results for gender were weighted to reflect the 2000 U.S. Census. At a 95 percent confidence level, a sample error of plus or minus 3 percent is assumed for statistics based on the total sample of 1,020 respondents. Statistics based on subsamples of the respondents are more sensitive to sampling error.

About the UltimateTV Group at Microsoft

The UltimateTV group at Microsoft is a leading provider of advanced interactive television services to consumers. The group licenses enabling software and hardware reference designs to consumer electronics manufacturers for integrated satellite receivers that provide digital video recording, live TV controls, Internet access and enhanced television programming in one complete package. The UltimateTV group is based at the Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View, Calif. The UltimateTV service is powered by the Microsoft TV software platform, which is licensed to television network operators worldwide. Additional information about the UltimateTV service is available at http://www.ultimatetv.com/ .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and UltimateTV are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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