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HDTV Ownership Jumps Nearly 50+ Percent, but More Than One-Third of HDTV Owners Not Actually Viewing HD

Comcast Reminds Gift Givers that HD is Sold Separately and Introduces Industry’s First Gift Card to Help Give the Complete HD Experience

Two recent independent studies have concluded that more than one-third of Americans who own a High-Definition Television (HDTV) are not currently watching HD programming.1 The same studies note that HDTV ownership has increased nearly 50 percent in U.S. households over the past year,2 prompting Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), the nation’s leading provider of entertainment, information and communications, to remind consumers not to forget the HD service when buying an HDTV at the holidays to ensure they are benefiting from the full HD experience. 

"Holiday HDTV shoppers remember … HDTVs aren't HD unless you get HD service. Comcast is your best choice for HD programming, and we've made getting it installed even easier and faster than before," said Derek Harrar, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Video Services for Comcast. "Once you've experienced HD, you'll want more. With well over 1,000 HD choices, we deliver more of the best HD content than anyone else." 

Comcast has designed its HD content with the customer in mind, and heading into a holiday season where many consumers will be staying close to home, it's important to maximize an existing entertainment investment in HD television by ensuring that it is receiving HD programming. 

Helping to maximize that investment is the industry's first gift card, which Comcast made available so consumers can now give the gift of HD, video, voice or Internet service. The Comcast Gift Card is available in increments from $5 to $500 and can be purchased online (, making it simple to give friends or family instant entertainment. 

The independent HD research was conducted in two separate studies by research firms Leichtman Research Group, Inc. and Frank N. Magid Associates. Additional findings show: 

  • a surge in HD viewing time with 43 percent of consumers that have HD programming spending half of their TV time watching HD. The growth in HD viewing is attributed to the growing number of choices in HD;3

  • 33 percent of HDTV owners have more than one HDTV set;4 

  • more than one-quarter of HD viewing homes now have more than one TV set connected to HD service;5  

  • top-viewed categories of HD continue to be movies, action/drama, concerts and sports;6

  • gender differences exist for HD viewing, with 48 percent of men seeking out HD content when sitting down to watch television, while only 31 percent of women do the same.7

With more than 1,000 HD choices, Comcast is delivering the HD programming that aligns with what consumers want to watch and how they want to watch it, for example: 

  • live HD sporting events through all of the major local broadcasters, Comcast SportsNet, ESPN and ESPN2, TBS, TNT, Versus, etc.;

  • more than 200 HD movies from top movie providers;

  • nearly 300 television shows including highly acclaimed series like Mad Men, Weeds and the CSI series; and 

  • hundreds of music offerings in the music category, which is one of the most popular categories currently On Demand.


About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) ( is the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communication products and services. With 24.4 million cable customers, 14.7 million high-speed Internet customers, and 6.1 million Comcast Digital Voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content. 

Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, ten Comcast SportsNet networks and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast's Internet businesses, including ( Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.

1 2008 national studies by Leichtman Research Group, Inc. and Frank N. Magid Associates.

2 2008 national studies by Leichtman Research Group, Inc. and Frank N. Magid Associates.

3 2008 national study by Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

4 2008 national study by Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

5 December 2008 national study by Frank N. Magid Associates.

6 December 2008 national study by Frank N. Magid Associates.

7 December 2008 national study by Frank N. Magid Associates.