The WGA strike has gone mainstream.
The general public is highly aware of the battle between the scribes and studios, according to a survey conducted by research firm OTX, but there doesn’t seem to be as much support for the labor action among non-pros as there is inside the biz.
The survey of 3,100 viewers between the ages of 13-64, conducted Nov. 26-Dec. 2, found that 73% of respondents were aware that the Writers Guild of America has gone on strike against the majors. Of those who were aware of the strike, 41% of respondents said they supported the strike. (That stat is interesting in contrast to last month’s Variety strike survey that found 54% of 999 Variety subscribers believed that the strike was necessary.)
The survey found that 41% of respondents figure they’ll be renting or buying more DVDs to tide them through the strike. Interestingly, only 19% said they would be going to the movies more often, and only 16% said they expect to watch more original content on the Internet.
Fifty-one percent of respondents said they were disappointed that their favorite TV shows are poised to serve up repeats for the foreseeable future; 44% said they will continue to watch their fave raves in repeats, but 29% said they’re likely to lose interest in the season’s new shows if they are stuck in rerun-mode for too long. And 26% of respondents said they will likely watch more reality programming as a result of the strike.
“Consumers today are very savvy about how the entertainment industry works and are cognizant of how issues like the strike will affect them,” said Bruce Friend, prexy of media and entertainment for Online Testing Exchange, which conducts weekly “TV Dailies” polls about their viewing habits and intent to view various programs.