Correlation between the frequency of viewership

ABSTRACT

The reason to conduct this research was to study and understand the correlation between the frequency of viewership, connection developed by the viewer with the program of choice and the number of hours spent in watching television. The variables in this study were connectedness along with its five factors (Escape, Fashion, Modeling, Aspiration and Imitation), the frequency of viewership and the number of hours spent in watching television. The data collection method used for the research was personal interviewing method with ten close ended questions. The purpose of this research was to understand why and how an individual develops a connection with the frequently viewed program and associates with it in real life. Convenience based (Non- probability) sampling technique was used during the period of study, all female respondents were chosen between the ages of 18 to 50 years from different areas of Karachi. The sample size, which was included in the research, was 100 female respondents. The construct of connectedness provides a new means for studying the effects of programming. Story, Cast and Acting was found to be the most preferred attributes while Drama/Soap that are based on Serious/ Social Issues were found to be the most preferred among the respondents. The research also concluded that the frequency of viewership has an indirect relation with the number of hours that a viewer watches TV.

Changing Media Values

INTRODUCTION

Power of Media

God's great gift to humanity is communication. Freedom of speech is a right of every individual who have expressed their thoughts, because of their free will desires, and aspirations through the mass media (Russell, Norman and Heckler, 2004).

Communicating liberally with other affirms the self-esteem and merit of each and every member of society. Freedom of phrase is vital in the achievement and growth of knowledge. Communication brings ahead a variety of ideas and information. People nowadays are well-versed and more open-minded thanks to flourishing press freedom and rising mass media here and in many parts of the world (KRCMAR and Kean, 2005).

All points of view are represented in the souk of ideas and culture benefits from question about their worth. In addition, this is how media influences culture as it leaves a large shock on the individuals (Potts, Richard, Dedmon and Halford, 1996).

As it has an innate power to hold and influence the total person. It leaves a sensible and lasting impact on equally the conscious and subconscious. While media informs and educates, it also corrupts and exploits, leading it to adjoin to the moral disgrace of society (Russell, Norman and Heckler, 2004).

Media's function in society is to update, educate, and amuse. It tells the truth and provides optimistic motivation that can build up descriptions and reputations the right way. Therefore, media has contributed deeply in ways that both enlighten and supplement society, but in additional ways have deteriorated and perplexed it. It is not a shock to learn, then, that media is the most powerful source of information, and nothing else in today's world influences public insight as heavily (Salzman, Philip 1993).

Media in the Philippine is simply a sign, an outgrowth, and a mirror of society as a whole. In spite of everything, media has been thought to have such a great authority over people. But, rather than performing its work in society, media has strayed, having a more harmful than constructive implication. It destroys descriptions and reputations, covers up the truth, stimulates negatively, and imparts the wrong messages (Anderson, Eugene, Fornell, and Lehmann, 1994).

Moreover, people practice a freedom of the press that becomes a flood of contradictory information and opinion. It confuses even as it is thought to inform, it assails the sanity even as it is thought to cleanse them, it entertains more than it enlightens, it gossips more than it informs (Salzman and Philip, 1993).

Media has become ethically and ingeniously bankrupt. Media shows no ethics and morals and the substance is packed with no other topic but aggression and sex. As a result, media mirrors society by reflecting it as a society with little ethics, with offense, sex, and pornography. It contributes to the nationwide breakdown and the moral disgrace of society. It has dishonored and broken the freedom of the press (Miller, 1995).

Media teaches by means of sensations and descriptions that leave a superior effect on the youth. People become victims of media's misuse as they are being inclined for the bad. Because of the influences that shape the subconscious, all forms of media should be taken more significantly so as to prevent harmful effects (Potts, Richard, Dedmon and Halford, 1996).

Modern Media

The media's main impact is psychological and intellectual. Media and entertainment companies form public opinion and assist in framing the terms of public discussion. The media is what we interpret, listen to and observe. In equivalent, through its close affiliation with advertisers, the media also exerts a great influence on the decisions we put together, the products we buy, and the kind of questions we put when we make our daily choices (Gerbner, 1990).

The long view of the past proves media's power by presentation that the medium itself, in the extended run, is more influential than the messages it carries, because the medium determines what can be communicated and how we imagine about that communication (Potts, Richard, Dedmon and Halford, 1996).

Television, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, and internet sites are mainly owned by profit-making businesses.

Changing Media Values, Study of Pakistan

Media is one of the significant organs in forming national identities. For the last ten years media in subcontinent is conquered by India. To begin with the domination was in the form of movies but once the advent of satellite television they have altered the lives of people of subcontinent (Malhotra, Iqbal 2000).

Following the liberalization of Indian media Indian satellite channels principally entertainment channels were launched swiftly. This all started in 90's, at that time rest of the countries of South Asia together with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka etc were far behind India. Through that era they all were relying on national televisions. Television programming was going to full circle now. It started of with Doordarshan. Then comes satellite television. From local content it becomes more national (Sonwalkar. Prasun, 2001).

Public of these countries were not having any right of entry to moderate media like Zee TV or Star TV Asia. Indian entrepreneurs just took benefit of this fact and launched plethora of satellite channels one by one. In 1999 Pakistani government allowed private television and radio channels to be aired from the soil of Pakistan, until this time Pakistani audience were used to Indian entertainment. Pakistani government tried to vanish Indian satellite channels from the TV lounges of regular Pakistani family in the course of imposing bar on Indian satellite channels, but they were unsuccessful (Gholam Khiabany, 2003).

In this age of Globalization the majority of the regions are affected by commercialization and uneven stream of Information. The worst victims of Globalization are developing countries those are victims of uneven stream of information from urban countries. In South Asia case is totally different, this region is dominated by India, which itself still comes in the category of emergent country. The thought of writing this text is to write something about non-western world (Sardar, Ziauddin 1993).

India is improving in media industry, this is not only influencing Indian society but also its influence stretched to its neighbors, Pakistan Bangladesh, Nepal and even Sri Lanka is reliant on their media (David and Crawley, 2001).

Language and ethnicity played important function in the growth of Indian Media industry, Urdu language bind India and Pakistan. Everyone in Pakistan understands Urdu, and there is no visible difference in Hindi and Urdu. Elites of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka always speak about cultural imperialism of India. Pakistani government tried to stop this influence by banning Indian channels in Pakistan, but Pakistani people are now more inclined to Indian media. Zee TV, Sony and Star Plus (Indian Satellite Channels) have penetrated in the upper middle class Pakistani homes as never before (Sonwalkar. Prasun, 2001).

According to UNESCO India is the lowest importer of Television programs, only 8 percent of the programming showed on television in 1990 was imported from abroad. Indian satellite channels dispersed from the control room of cable operator to the subscriber home, not only shows film and television dramas but also showed political and supplementary events to grip advertising (David and Crawley, 2001).

The soap opera culture which was in fact western idea was ideally adopted by Star Plus. In nineties while Indian media liberalized from the control of Door Darshan, and star network began there satellite channels, then primarily star network laid the foundation of westernized form of entertainment. Like Star's Channel V, Zee's Music Asia channel is a booming indigenized adaptation of Western models such as MTV and Channel V (Mowlana Hamid, 1996).

Going on in step with the liberalization of the market, television has brought about a liberalization of culture inside India over the past decade. This has meant, on one hand, admission to sources of news and entertainment not controlled by government but, on the other hand, exposure to a tele-visual culture at odds with conventional norms and morals (Gholam Khiabany, 2003).

Yet as it may have been Western programs such as The Bold and the Beautiful that led this "cultural invasion," the resulting competition for audiences has clearly been won by those channels that have developed programs based on Indian accepted culture, mainly film and film music, and have normally been able to indigenize the worldwide forms of commercial television. Indian satellite television networks particularly Star Plus have cached the overseas formats and tried with the Hindi versions. "Kyon kai saas bhi kabhi bahu thi"(Indian satellite channel Star Plus famous soap opera) is most prominent soap opera in South Asia (John Ellis, 2000).

In South Asia soap opera culture was introduced by Zee TV, in 1992 "Tara" (Zee TV Soap opera) was first and praised by community all across South Asia. Before soap opera Pakistani Drama's were very famous, but due to soap opera traditions the whole television drama creation industry is on the edge of fall down. Even Pakistani satellite channels are replication same format. This is the sequence of globalization, Indian media engaged western structure of entertainment and they experimented (Butcher, 2003). Indian television programs and films are integral part of Pakistani society. Over the years through videos and TV, there has been an recognition of Indians as similar people, so it would be very hard to get rid of Indian videos and TV programs from Pakistani society.

The accessibility of international television channels by means of satellite at the start of the 1990s forced the liberalization of a television market formerly held as a national monopoly by the state broadcaster Doordarshan. There remain important technical boundaries on the degree to which television can give out as the stage on which new convergent information services can be delivered (Banerjee, 2002).

As language and region increasingly dominate media content and viewership, concept of Imperialism and hegemony acquires new meanings in localized settings. Language and traditions played important role in the development of Indian Media industry, Urdu language bind India and Pakistan. Everybody in Pakistan understands Urdu, and there is no visible dissimilarity in Hindi and Urdu. Elites of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka at all times talk about cultural imperialism of India. Pakistani government tried to prevent this persuade by banning Indian channels in Pakistan, but Pakistani people are now more inclined to Indian media (Butcher, 2003).

Zee TV, Sony and Star Plus (Indian Satellite Channels) have penetrated in the upper middle class Pakistani homes as never before. The coming of Satellites television has posed peculiar problems for the official custodians of Pakistani culture because it has breached the ideological boundaries of the state in a much more intensive way then ever before (David Page and William Crawley, 2001).

Importance of this research:

Media industry (drama/soaps) in Pakistan is at it growing stage and due to the reason it lacks many important resources in terms of capital and infrastructure it gets dependant on the copy art and starts taking influences from the neighboring countries. Such research would be able to highlight different aspects of the industry and the weakness that are the causes of the failure to capture the audience. Similarly how these weaknesses can be tempered and taken care of. Efforts can be put on those areas for improvement.

This research will benefit the producers, the production companies and the TV channels involved in this area. Pakistani industry has a lot of talent in terms of the human resource but they are not being utilized at the potential. By highlighting the issues and their remedies one can easily understand how to improve the quality of the product.

Theoretical Framework and Research Question

The reason to conduct this research was to study and understand the correlation between the connectedness with the program while watching any TV program. This research will try to identify the existence of any sort of relation between the viewership and the connectedness of an individual with the program. In order to prove such relationship the frequency of viewership will be questioned and level of connectedness with the program will be analyzed.

In this research five variables have been taken into consideration for studying the relationship between connectedness and the viewership of the program as proposed by (Russell, Norman and Heckler, 2004):

  1. Escape
  2. Modeling
  3. Aspiration
  4. Imitation
  5. Fashion

The current media situation in Pakistan Entertainment sector is that producers of the dramas/soaps have an understanding of what the viewer wants to see. This comes from the high involvement of Pakistani viewer in the Indian dramas/soaps. Due to this producers are producing content that is in turn a copy of the Indian dramas/soaps.

If we see this from the perspective of a viewer there is lesser viewership of Pakistani entertainment channels as compared to Indian channels, then why is the producer producing such content? There is a gap in the understanding of the viewer and the producer of the dramas/soaps in Pakistan.

We can study this by studying the television viewing and the factors that are influencing the viewer to watch on program more than the other.

Connectedness is a newly developed construct of audience viewing behavior, and it proposed to be one of the important antecedents of audience satisfaction with positive relationships.

We will find out if the viewer is willing to watch any other content on the Pakistani channel and can relate to it.

In order to analyze the correlation between the connectedness and the frequency of viewership following Hypotheses are being proposed:

H1: Frequency of viewing a particular program has no relationship with the time spent in watching television.

H2: Frequency of viewing a particular program has no relation with the connectedness of the program

H3: Connection with the favorite particular program has no relationship with the number of hours an individual spends in front of a TV.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Television viewership

Robinson in a study concluded that television seems to have a superior influence on the structure of daily life than any other novelty in this century (Gabriel Weimann, Hans-Bernd Brosius and Mallory, 1992).

Television has altered the daily life of more people in this century then any other medium or discovery. In a US poll, 68 percent stated that watching television was their main resource of enjoyment (Gabriel Weimann, Hans-Bernd Brosius and Mallory, 1992).

Children are watching television as a firm routine around the age of two and a half and a typical mature or child watching an average of two to three hours per day more time that they utilize on any other activity except working and sleeping. No wonder that this influential medium has become one of the principles of modern culture (Jeanette K. Chan, Marcia Ellis, and Auria Styles, 2005).

Moreover, adults are thought to obtain their images of actual and ideal truth and it also interacts with the children's developing perceptions of reality, both on a communal and individual level (Jennifer M, Lawrie 1998).

The last decade had witnessed noteworthy changes in the media system of many societies. The development of the cable television , undeviating broad casting satellites, teletext and additional broadcast television joined existing competitors for audience attention time, money and pleasure.( Lin, Carolyn A. 1993).

Watching television is today more than ever a significant attribute of the modern life, capturing a major slice of our spare time. This has led quite a few scholars of mass communication to draw their attention towards television-its content, construction, usage as well as outcomes and control.

Media globalization: An Indian perspective

It is not an understatement to say that the 1990s have been moderately vital to the conversion of Indian media networks and industries. Considering the fact, that the Indian media for a long time was principally restricted national wide . Indian cinema had active regional division networks in Africa, the USSR, South East Asia, and the Middle East, but here the cultural broadcast of the Hindi film greatly outweighed any severe economic returns in comparison to Hollywood, or what was to approach in the 1990s. Television only advanced after the 1980s, with a huge state network that crossed the country boundries. The 1980s were no doubt important as cassette culture changed the music industry and outweighed the iron grip of international music forms that had conquered the old LP record business. As Peter Manuel's work shows, cassette culture drew new markets, created new artists and music forms, and enormously expanded the market (Ravi Sundaram, 2005).

Thus the media bang of the 1990s, generally going under 'globalization', was not without a background, but was obvious by a mixture of both media forms and temporal stepping up. Within a few years India experienced satellite cable television advancing from just a a few to a total of 80 channels, and the increase of other media in the shape of cassettes, CDs, VCDs, MP3s, and DVDs. Media ownership was enormously varied. New empires came up from satellite television, going into circulation, and later on into film production. For the most part television circulation remained extremely erratic; cable was largely retailed by minor independent group of actors in the neighborhoods. By the late 1990s, multi-service providers came forward, pushed by large television networks contributing franchises to local troupes, but this only enlarged difference at the local level between competitors. Mostly, cable distribution stays in the informal zone and a source of disagreement over intellectual possessions. In the music sector, a huge new production network now exists in the informal subdivision, producing a range of remixes, religious, crossovers and versions of registered film music. The larger companies have tremendously profited by lowered costs of manufacture and the capability of the small company to immediately respond to musical tastes and produce new artistes. Film music, once a leading part of the market (80%) has witnessed its share slipping slowly, at any tempo piracy makes market control impossible (Ravi Sundaram, 2005).

In the case of Bombay, the picture remains unclear with the industry moving from crisis to crisis. Most of the expression seems to be against 'piracy' as a reason for losses, but the quality of wordings has been declining, a constant objection in the industry. This situation has led to a small opening for new medium-budget productions with new actors and directors. Concisely, we can differentiate the media in India from the 1990s whose association can at best be described like permeable. At one stage are the new media enteritis: the business owners of satellite television channels, big software industries situated in the techno-cities of Bangalore and Hyderabad, and the promotion companies in Bombay. The great software companies have been the most gainful in the stock market, and function in actual time with Western companies, and employ thousands of programmers. The second level is the huge and vibrant informal and often illegal media zone of urban India, which has, practically, retailed the new cultural group to the group of citizens. This includes the thousands of little cable television networks, millions of publicly operated phone booths in neighborhoods, street music sellers, pirate and non-copyright media producers, and public internet entrée points (Sonwalkar. Prasun, 2001).

In India especially Delhi, a considerable part of the media experience of the 1990s emerged from networks that were part of this society of the copy, a world that I have called pirate modernity. Pirate modern culture transformed production and movement of commodities using the ill-legal media copy as a major form for producing and reproducing products in the city. In Delhi the media copy exists in a balanced relationship with all other objects and industries: clothes, cosmetics, medicine, household goods, and also car and machine parts. As is clear, copy ethnics pits piracy right into a global social disagreement on definitions of property (Ninan, 2004).

Media and film research in India has now given way to chronological and modern studies, as well as digital networks and the upcoming industrial form of the media itself. Research is at an initial stage, but given the seriousness of the task and an extensive list of issues, some thrilling interventions should be predictable in the next few years (Ravi Sundaram, 2005).

An efflorescence of the media in India during the 1990s, mostly in television has changed the south Asian media. After the innovation of the overseas channels declined in the early 1990s, Indian channels strengthened their position, experienced highest viewers rating and enforced foreign channels to significantly adopt local programming. The late 1990s supplemented a new aspect with region/language-specific channels. Besides, Indian media products are gradually being viewed as cultural imperialism within South Asia similar to as the western products were during 1960s-70s. India's media power and effervescence appears to pose some tests to the trope of media imperialism (Prasun Sonwalkar, 2001).

The concept of media-scape as "battle ground" is often suggested in economic terms, but this can well de broadened to politics as well, as the situation in South Asia. For example, cream of Pakistan, Nepal Bangladesh and Sri Lanka not normally speak of Indian cultural imperialism. Zee TV and Sony have entered into the upper middle class Pakistani homes as never before (Amit Baruah, 2000).

As Pakistan's information minister, Javed Jabbar, put in 'I am worried about the pressure of Indian satellite television on our people' (Sanjaya Baru, 2000).

Foreign channels like Star TV were first to affect in the early 1990s, but its initial uneasiness of a cultural invasion appeared lost as their viewership declined when local channels like Zee came up. In 1992 viewers switched to channels with programs that closer to their culture. This is obvious from the program-based viewer-ship examples across eight major Indian cities. This however, this let down most foreign channels to make a good ranking. Many viewers seemed to decline Indian channels like Doordarshan, Zee TV or Sony (Prasun Sonwalkar, 2001).

This has enforced major overseas channels like Star TV to initiate Hindi language programming. According to, Patrick Cross (BBC world's managing director), additional programs in Hindi were going to be introduced. This was the first time that BBC World was going to broadcast in aregional language anywhere in the world (Anjan Mitra, 2000).

According to Peter Mukerjea (CEO, Star India), they had to get into regional language programs in India and speak the tongue that the Indians were at ease in (Anjan Mitra, 2000).

Furthermore, Star TV reintroduced their programming by moving popular English-language soaps like 'Santa Barbara', 'Baywatch' and 'Bold and the Beautiful' to Star world to make way for Hindi shows (Prasun Sonwalkar, 2001).

Doordarshan had dominated the market before 1991, but the growing attractiveness of satellite channels has affected its returns even though it sustained its vast viewership (Hasan Suroor, 2000).

In 1992, the Indians were alarmed that a cultural invasion could take place, but it was an out-vasion which occured. Sony and Zee are viewed in some African countries, in the Middle East, the UK and Europe, and Star Plus is streaming across Asia. Each one of them represented what is relevant to Indians (Iqbal Malhotra, 2000).

Not only the entertainment channels but also the Indian news channels receive normal response in the newsroom from many spectators and politicians in Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, etc. who regularly call up newsrooms to comment on news stories which are live or offer suggestions for coverage (Prasun Sonwalkar, 2001).

In conclusion is can be said that, the western communication of cultural/media imperialism comes in for a dispute even as 'national' continues to be a key determinant in the cultural scene that's permits new language and regional force to appear within and across nation states due to new media and trends in communications technology (Prasun Sonwalkar, 2001).

Soap Operas and Gossip

Soap operas are extremely accepted cultural forms, attracting more than 10 million viewers daily, the majority of which are females. From the economic point of view, they produce significant profits for the network (Hasan Suroor, 2000).

Regardless of their abilities to draw large number of audiences and to produce large profits, soap operas have long been seen as an object of disrespect. One of the criticisms leveled at soap operas is that they are slow-paced. Soap operas are multifaceted, with large characters and plot lines which build up slowly over large periods of time. Viewers tend to get emotionally involved to the characters in a soap opera (Hasan Suroor, 2000).

Viewers themselves penetrate vicariously into the imaginary soap opera community. There are many long-term audiences, some of whom have been watching soap operas for as long as 35 years. Soap operas are planned around a cylindrical cycle of the real world in which viewers live. The lives of characters run corresponding to the lives of viewers in time. Thus it is the time not plot which comes to control the description process (Hasan Suroor, 2000).

The organization of time and the durability of certain characters, allows the viewers to turn into very familiar with the character's histories, well ahead of the time-frame of any one episode. These histories are reactivated in the minds of long-time viewers in scenes where the characters talk about the implications of a particular occasion or action. Scenes filled with gossip are in fact essential to how events on soap operas are interpreted by audiences (Hasan Suroor, 2000).

Gossip among characters and a soap opera to give the viewers a running commentary on the action, providing information and details about the latest facts of the plots. It helps bind together various plots and characters so that the audiences can interpret how an action will affect other characters not directly involved in the plot, giving a certain plot line a depth (Hasan Suroor, 2000).

The intensity of this model complexity is evident at a soap opera wedding, funeral, and other traditional events, allowing audiences to revive memorial events of their own minds.

Viewers of soap operas tend to talk about its characters as if they were real people and also have a tendency to get personal about them (Hasan Suroor, 2000). The wider fame of soap operas extends discussion ahead of the television and into the categories through which people live through the dialogue they excite in the media. In these ways, we see that the "idle talk" (gossip) in and generated by soap operas has a superior impact on our lives then previously envisioned (Hasan Suroor, 2000).

Americans watch a lot of television; a study conducted in 1978 indicates that for a U.S. household, he television set is on an average of six hours and eleven minutes daily.

At the same time as TV Audience program preferences are rationally well documented, the base for these preference lies in what the viewer is offered. Thus, an understanding of the quantitative rate and the qualitative content of what programs are available (the menu) is a qualification to a more complete understanding and conceptualization of what the audience prefers.

Clearly, prime time is vital to the network. The program lineups assembled for this time period have been manufactured and designed to attract most viewership. Although less commercials minutes per hour are permitted in prime time, the actual dollars per second are much more expensive during these hours than any other times due to large number of audiences (Mazzarella, 2003).

For the network programmer, critical attention must be given to the calculated succession of the shows during the prime time. Successful television programming involves far more than simply arriving at come capricious sequence of program product. Of course, networks want to collect large, static audience for their prime time line-ups. There is also a desire to constantly increase ones own audience size.

Television Audience Satisfaction

To help increase the efficiency of television broadcasting and advertising, studies have been conducted on audience viewing manners by investigating the background and consequences of audience satisfaction of television programs.

Consumer satisfaction has long been recognized as a vital concept as well as an significant goal of all business activities (Anderson, Fornell, and Lehmann, 1994). High consumer satisfaction has many paybacks for the firm, such as amplified consumer loyalty, enhanced firm reputation, condensed price elasticity, etc. comprehension of its importance has resulted in a proliferation of research on consumer contentment over the past few decades (Anton, 1997).

Considering television programs as products, media researchers study audience liking and satisfaction from the marketing perspective. The audience activity constructs as an dominant factor in the gratification-seeking course and examines the viewing motives, activities, and satisfaction of adolescents (Lin, 1993).

In addition to studying audience satisfaction from the viewpoint of viewers' behavior, it is no doubt that TV programs' presentation should play a role in audience satisfaction. Rather than studying the performance at product level, Gardial et al. (1994) point out that consumers are more likely to eevaluate of their post-purchase practice of satisfaction at an attribute level.

An attribute-based approach enables researchers to conceptualize usually practical phenomena, such as consumers experiencing assorted feelings toward a product or service. An attribute-level approach to satisfaction affords managers a superior level of specificity and analytical usefulness compared with the product level or overall approach. The link between products' attribute-level presentation and overall satisfaction has been considered by many marketing researchers (Mittal, Ross, and Baldasare, 1998; Oliva, Oliver, and Bearden, 1995). When adopting such a concept on an audience satisfaction study, we can say that a TV program's performance at quality level is one of the significant antecedents of audience satisfaction.

When examining the theoretical and logical significance of the link between attribute-level performance and overall satisfaction, it is vital to recognize that the relationship could be asymmetric according to the well-known prospect theory (Kahneman and Tversky, 1979), which postulates that people's judgments show "loss aversion". Psychologically, a one-unit loss is weighted more than an equal amount of gain. On the basis of this theory, we propose:

Connectedness is a recently developed construct of audience viewing behavior, and it is projected to be one of the important antecedents of audience satisfaction with optimistic relationship. Study confirms the legitimacy of connectedness and supports it as an antecedent of audience satisfaction.

Behavioral measures of television audience appreciation

Study on audience reactions to television programs dates back to the 1960s. A variety of private research firms and public broadcasters have, over the years, formed their own appreciation measures in an attempt to complement audience-size measures, by measuring viewer attitudes to, preferences for, and involvement levels with programs (Kent, 1994; Windle and Landy, 1996).

In the United States, Television Audience Assessment Inc. (TAA, 1984) was set up particularly to market measures of audience reactions to the television networks and advertisers. A weekly viewing diary measured the plea of programs (a personal program rating on a five-point scale) and the impact of programs (Kent, 1994; Windle and Landy, 1996).

Many countries including Pakistan now operate a people-meter panel for television-audience measurement. This method is technically more complicated than diaries and is better at capturing viewing of small channels and day-time and late-night viewing (Beed, 1992). However, people meters demand that panelists record in and out with a remote control when they start and stop watching television, and this is not always done properly (Danaher and Beed, 1993.

While people meters have the ability to record second-by-second ratings, most ratings suppliers distribute minute-by-minute ratings (Danaher, 1995). The concept behind the two behavioral measures of audience appreciation is that "viewers vote with their feet." That is, if you do not particularly like a show then in all likelihood you will change channels or switch the set off. With the extensive prevalence of remote controls, changing channels is easy for most viewers.

Television culture leads to a focus on audience segmentation that is based on programming aimed at specific demographic groups. If segmentation plans are effective, the abundance of channels may allow programmers to appeal to lesser but more loyal segments of the viewers and therefore to increase channel loyalty.

TV viewing behavior depicts on factors such as group viewing, availability of shows and television channels at the time the viewer wants to watch, and the scale to which a viewer is paying attention to all his or her choices (Webster & Lichty, 1991).

Connectedness

Connectedness characterizes the strength of the relationship(s) that audiences develop with television programs and their characters. Despite their imaginary nature, television characters may undeniably appear as real people to viewers (Fiske, 1992). The possible influence of TV characters as referent others makes it vital for consumer researchers to confine the extent to which consumers develop relationships with the characters in TV programs and to learn how those relationships influence consumers' experiences.

At one end of the connectedness spectrum, a TV program may be viewed simply as a form of mindless entertainment. Viewers may feel positively toward the program and be attentive when watching it, but the extent of their connection stops there. At the other end of the spectrum, TV programs and their characters can become an obsession with which viewers constantly interact and around which they model their lives. Like traditional consumer-brand relationships, consumer-program relationships evolve over time and may generate feelings of commitment, intimacy, and affective attachments with the program (Fournier, 1998).

Further, as the line that separates program from promotional content becomes increasingly blurry it has become increasingly important to study not just how much television people watch or how much they like the programs but also how much they relate to the situations and characters in those programs and how such referential relationships affect their own consumption experiences (Shrum, 2003).

Understanding television viewing and its consequences on the audience is of great importance to consumer researchers because of various effects that television programming has on consumers' lives. First, TV programs remain a major context for advertising messages and, as such, can produce certain emotional responses or certain liking responses that concern the impact of the messages placed within it. In both of these cases, the focal point is positioned on the effect of program framework on evaluations of commercials or on recall for commercials.

TV programs themselves are powerful as they portray an even model a myriad of consumption-relevant phenomena, such as the structure of people, social roles, lifestyles and subcultures, or issues of gender, race, and class. Psychological effects of the programs themselves have only been studied in terms of the amount of television viewing. Such studies show that the effects of serious versus light viewing of a program on perceptions of real world phenomena (O'Guinn and Shrum, 1997) can be explained by the frequency of exposure to television exemplars. More specifically, the more someone is exposed to television images, the more reachable that information is in memory and the more it becomes a heuristic when making communal judgments (Shrum, Wyer, and O'Guinn, 1998).

Such relationships come out because of the para-social contact process that may develop between the viewers and the characters portrayed in their TV programs. Because TV characters come into view to live in similar time scales to their audience and go beyond their textual existence (Fiske, 1992), they may become referent others to the viewers. As referent others, characters offer strong models for viewers that turn out to be a reference point of recognition a source of social judgment and motivation for goals that consumers decide to work toward. As a result, strong relationships may form between the viewers and the television characters that look like interpersonal relationships. These behavioral modeling effects are mainly powerful because the dramatic nature of TV programming elicits expressions of emotion and verisimilitude somewhat the counter argumentation typically connected with advertising (Hirschman and Thompson, 1997).

Recognizing the boundaries of present television audience measures, introduced the construct of connectedness as a richer sign of the nature and strength of the relationship(s) between a viewer and a TV show. They proposed that connectedness extends further than the simple viewing practice by capturing the degree to which a TV program contributes to a viewer's self and social identity. Even though their qualitative examination provides well-built conceptual support for the introduction of connectedness and its role to the study of television use, there remains a need to develop a tool to measure the construct and to engrave it in a nomological network. The text review has reiterated the fact that a measure of TV program connectedness should extend beyond the emotional arousal and concentration intensity of the viewing practice and capture the para-social relationships viewers generate with their TV programs and the characters in those programs. (Russell and Puto, 1999)

A greatly connected viewer has a deeper, more appreciated relationship with the characters, which can take time to build up. Whereas a person may possibly develop a positive attitude to a program in a short period of time, or even a single viewing, the increase of connectedness may need manifold viewings, to allow the relationship to progress from lower to advanced levels of convenience. Even though a constructive attitude toward a program may mediate the development of connectedness, it does not restrict the truth that such para-social relationships would emerge.

RESEARCH METHODS:

The data collection method used for the research was questionnaire with nine close ended questions. The purpose of this research was descriptive in nature as the researcher wanted to understand why and how an individual develops a connection with the frequently viewed program and associates with it in real life.

Content Validity Assessment

The content validity of instruments is assessed by an overview of the items by individual who is an expert in that field or subject and/or by the individuals from the target population. The individual make their judgments about the relevance of the items and about the assurance of their formulation.

Mr. Imran Aslam President Geo Television Networks and Mr. Badar Ikram BU Head of the Geo Entertainment assessed the content validity for this research and these were the assessments through which the questionnaire was finalized. These were there observations according to the research.

The five factors represent the different manifestations of how the viewers connect with their TV program and develop para-social relationships with the characters.

Escape characterizes the cathartic element that connects a viewer to a TV program. The Modeling factor measures a social learning process by capturing the degree to which individuals relate their own life to the lives of the characters in the show. Fashion measures how extensively a viewer is influenced by the characters' appearance. The Imitation dimension measures the inclination for people to imitate the characters, likely due to the emotional stimulation of taking on another role. Aspiration identifies how people become so connected to a program that they actually aspire to be on the show or meet the characters (Russell, Norman and Susan E. Heckler 2004).

Instrument

The instrument used in this research is simply a questionnaire with 9 close ended questions with multiple variables for the analysis of connectedness with the particular program. As for the development of questionnaire, was evaluated by the supervisor as well as the experts from the media industry to assess the content validity of the instrument. Since the instrument was based on collecting objective information so there were no issues of its reliability. The instrument was initially pre-tested by collecting 10 responses which were shown to the experts.

Instrument Reliability Test

Cronbach's alpha will generally increase as the inter-correlations among test items increase, and is thus known as an internal consistency estimate of reliability of test scores. Because inter-correlations among test items are maximized when all items measure the same construct, Cronbach's alpha is widely believed to indirectly indicate the degree to which a set of items measures a single uni-dimensional latent construct. However, the average inter-correlation among test items is affected by skew just like any other average Alpha can take values between negative infinity and 1 (although only positive values make sense). Some professionals, as a rule of thumb, require a reliability of 0.70 or higher (obtained on a substantial sample) before they will use an instrument. Obviously, this rule should be applied with caution when a has been computed from items that systematically violate its assumptions.

Sampling Technique:

Convenience based (Non- probability) sampling technique was used during the period of study, all female respondents were chosen between the ages of 18 to 50 years from different areas of Karachi.

Sample Size:

The sample size, which was included in the research, was 100 female respondents.

Statistical Tools:

The statistical tools were frequency, percentages, chi-square that were using SPSS version 16. All the tables were also generated from SPSS. Pearson's chi-square is used to assess two types of comparison: tests of goodness of fit and tests of independence. A test of goodness of fit, establishes whether or not an observed frequency distribution differs from a theoretical distribution. A test of independence assesses whether paired observations on two variables, expressed in a contingency table, are independent of each other or not. For this particular research chi-square test has been used to test the dependency (relationship) between the frequency of viewership of a particular program and the number of hours and individual spent in front of a TV.

Findings

Analysis of Factors of Connectedness:

People, who feel that they have an escape from their daily life most of the time, view all the episodes of their favorite drama/soap. This shows that escape factor has a major impact on the behavior of the viewer.

People who feel that they are inspired by the fashion statements in their favorite drama and soap most of the time, view all the episodes of their favorite drama/soap. i.e. respondents do get impressed by the fashion statements but very often take ideas or try to inherit the fashion. These people watch all the episodes of their favorite drama/soap.

People who imitate their favorite character most of the time watch all the episodes. But there are cases where the viewer watches all the episodes but never imitate, hence there is no relationship of imitation with the frequency of viewership.

People who find the dramas and soaps representing their real life situation or take ideas from them sometimes are the ones who watch all the episodes. Also there are many who watch most of the episodes but never relate the drama with their own life.

Respondents feel major aspiration factor from their favorite drama and soap. They woud love to meet the character of the drama but would not be interested in being one of them.

Relationship between the Number of hours and Frequency of viewership

After analyzing the frequency of viewership and the number of hours that a respondent spends in front of the TV we can conclude from the Chi Square Test that the frequency of viewership has indirect relation with the number of hours that a viewer watches TV. That is the frequency of viewership would be higher in a case where an individual spends less time in from of a TV. In this research out of 54 cases more than 35 respondents watch all the episodes and repeat telecast while the remaining respondents who spend more than 2 hours never watch the repeat telecasts.

Relationship between the Frequency of viewership and Connectedness

The value of chi square test is 0 percent .i.e. less than 5 % which means that H2 has been accepted and can be concluded that the relationship exists between the tested variables. Hence it is proved that the connection would be stronger towards a particular program if the frequency of watching that particular program is higher.

Relationship between the Number of hours and Connectedness

The value of chi square test is 0.7 percent .i.e. less than 5 % which means that H3 has been accepted and can be concluded that the relationship exists between the tested variables. Hence it is proved that the connection would be stronger towards a particular program if an individual spends less time in front of a TV

Conclusions and Recommendations

The objective of this research was to develop a better understanding of the consumption of regular television programming through a study of the relationships that viewers develop with TV programs and their characters. The research proposed connectedness as a multidimensional construct to capture the intensity of the relationship(s) that viewers develop around TV programs. This research provided evidence that the connectedness construct is unique from other constructs. However, it is acknowledged that the need for further discriminant and nomological validity testing, in particular to fully differentiate connectedness from involvement and attitude. The evidence supporting the relationships between viewers and programs calls for future research in the area of program context effects and advertising effectiveness. Existing research on the effects of TV program content has mainly focused on how program content affects mood, which, in turn, affects ad processing on the evaluation and processing of advertisements placed within the program. The construct of connectedness provides a new means for studying the effects of programming. Story, Cast and Acting was found to be the most preferred attributes while Drama/Soap that are based on Serious/ Social Issues were found to be the most preferred among the respondents. The research also concluded the following results for relationship between frequency of viewership of a particular program, connection with that program and the time spent in watching television. The result show that relations do exist between these variable as we can see that the frequency of viewership has an indirect relation with the number of hours that a viewer watches TV .i.e. a viewer who watches TV less would want to watch only her favorite program whenever she watches TV. In the same case the connection of the viewer with the program would be stronger in case of the frequency of viewership if the viewer is watches the particular program frequently that no episode is missed then the results show that the connection of the viewer with that program is stronger.

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Gratifications sought

  1. Informational guidance
  2. I watch TV to get advice on

    • how to make friends in school
    • how to get along with my family
    • how to solve my personal problems
  3. Interpersonal communication
  4. I want to

    • find something interesting to talk to my family about
    • find something interesting to use in starting a conversation
    • find something interesting to talk to my friends about
  5. Para social interaction
  6. I watch TV because

    • I want to find people like me on TV
    • I like to think of some people on TV as friends
    • I want to talk to the TV to express my feelings
  7. Entertainment
  8. I watch TV because I want to

    • be entertained
    • get some excitement
    • have some fun
    • feel good
  9. Diversion:
  10. I watch TV because

    • I want to forget about my problems
    • I need to relax
    • I need to kill time
    • I am lonely
    • I am bored

Gratifications obtained

  1. Informational guidance
  2. I am satisfied with the advice I get from TV on

    • how to make friends in school
    • how to get along with my family
    • how to solve my personal problems
  3. Interpersonal communication
  4. Watching TV

    • gives me something interesting to talk to my family about
    • gives me something interesting to use in starting a conversation
    • gives me something interesting to talk to my friends about
  5. Parasocial interaction
  6. Watching TV makes me feel

    • there are people like me on TV
    • some people on TV are like friends
    • I can talk back to the TV to express my feelings
  7. Entertainment
  8. Watching TV

    • keeps me entertained
    • gives me excitement
    • gives me a lot of fun
    • makes me feel good
  9. Diversion
  10. Watching TV

    • helps me forget about my problems
    • helps me relax
    • helps me kill time
    • keeps me from feeling lonely
    • keeps me from getting bored

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