PROGRAMMING STRATEGIES AND THE POPULARITY OF TELEVISION PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN

Authors

  • JACOB J. WAKSHLAG,

    1. Jacob J. Wakshlag (Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1977) is assistant professor of telecommunications at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405.
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  • BRADLEY S. GREENBERG

    1. Bradley S. Greenberg (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1961) is professor of communication and telecommunication and chairman of the Department of Communication at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824. This study accepted for publication May 23, 1979.
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Abstract

This study investigated the effects of various programming strategies, commonly employed by the networks, on program popularity for children. Viewing data for prime time and Saturday morning programs were collected in the fall, winter, and spring of the ‘75-'76 season. Simple correlations supported the relationship between program popularity and the following programming strategies: counterprogramming by type, block programming by type, inheritance effects, starting time, program familiarity, and character familiarity. Regression analysis, which controlled for relationships among programming strategies, confirmed the effects of program familiarity and starting time only. The results, suggest that children are not highly adventurous viewers. On the contrary, it appears that past experience with a program coupled with availability of the child audience are overriding determinants of program popularity.

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