“The Simpsons” Is the Television Series Most Likely to Be Recorded, According to Survey From Microsoft UltimateTV

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 7, 2001 — “The Simpsons,” the animated hit show from Matt Groening, is the series from throughout television history that viewers would be most likely to record, according to a recent survey from the Microsoft® UltimateTV®
service conducted by E-Poll. Respondents also expressed dissatisfaction with the reliability of their VCRs and with network scheduling practices.

“The Simpsons” was chosen by the largest number of respondents (9 percent) as the program they’d most likely record, followed by “M*A*S*H” and “Seinfeld” (7.3 percent each). The drama series “ER” was the fourth choice among respondents (4.4 percent), with classics “I Love Lucy” (3.7 percent) and “Star Trek” (3.2 percent) next on the list.*

Survey participants were also queried about VCR usage, and many reported difficulty with both taping a show and finding shows they already taped. A high percentage of respondents (56.1 percent) cited searching through videotape for a program they’d recorded earlier among the top annoyances of using a VCR. Nearly the same number (55.5 percent) complained that the VCR didn’t tape the show they wanted to see.

Viewers also reported having trouble seeing the TV shows they want to watch. Nearly 80 percent of respondents agreed that they sometimes lose track of a favorite TV show when it gets moved to a new day or time. Seventy-two percent of respondents complained that too often programs they want to watch air at an inconvenient time, and 68 percent said that if they were able to record programs effortlessly, they’d be more likely to record shows.

The UltimateTV/E-Poll survey of 1,020 respondents was conducted Aug. 24–27, 2001, with a sample error of +/- 3 percent. A representative group of adults ages 18–54 were 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 +/- 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 “MSFT”) 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.

* Top six responses to the unaided, open-ended question, “What one series from across the history of TV would you record?”

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