Viewers Favor Unfettered Cable Programming

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Almost two thirds of respondents in a new poll say the government should keep its hands off cable programming, while almost half say that cable is "rarely or almost never objectionable."

That is according to a just-released Arbitron study on the "Consumer’s Relationship with Cable TV."

The "government hands off" number is even higher for premium channels like HBO and Showtime, with 77% saying that programming should be unrestricted.

A majority, 54%, say they want to be able to assemble their own channel lineups (a la carte), while 42% say they would opt for the current model.

More people (47%) would prefer ad-supported free video-on-demand (VOD) content than to pay even a small fee (99 cents, say), per show for ad-free VOD.

The telephone poll of primarily Arbitron diarykeepers (all but 5% of the respondents) was conducted in association with Edison Media Research of 1,925 people from Jan. 13 to Feb. 12.

The study is part of  Arbitron's Annual Multimedia Study research and not paid for by any outside group.

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