1.1 Background of the Study
The significance of television as a medium of mass communication is fast assuming a highly imperative position throughout the world. Television by virtue of sound, vision and movement offers a high degree of creative flexibility. The value of television, as a medium of mass communication is fast assuming highly important position throughout the world, all over Nigeria, today there are over one million people watching television. Television has added another feather to its wings, which is that of persuasion. This singular act by television has made it possible for television to dazzle other media of communication. It now serves as an organ through which governments and advertisers sell their goods and services. It has brought the art of product awareness to millions of households. It has the selling power for most types of goods and services.
One cannot but remember educational and entertainment programmes for the audience like cultural dances, drama and comedy programmes. Some of the programmes such as family circle, guilt, Jagwa, Mr. B and Tales by moonlight have been known to force people to go home from wherever they are, so as not to miss the next episode (Edith et., al 2006). While viewers are watching their favourite programmes, it is a common experiences, that television houses often dot in commercials which break the continuity of these programmes to the annoyance of viewers whom these programmes are their favourites.
The advertisers often want their commercials to be aired at prime time, while these viewers want their favourite programmes to be uninterrupted by commercials thereby affecting the interest of advertisers and interest of viewers (Downey, 2008). It has been estimated that well over 80% of the programmes on Nigeria televisions are interrupted as a result of commercials, yet Nigeria television houses do not seem to see anything unusual about this situation. According to Opubor et al., (2009.p,2) “The commercial interruptions of most of the programmes are of little relevance to the social realities of the average Nigeria”. Consequently, television houses often just slot in these commercials even at prime time without considering the interests and feelings of viewers. The viewers are now forced to perceive and consume these commercials when watching their favourite programs, thereby subjecting them to the status of captive audience.
The fact remains that television stations need the money realized from these commercial to remain in business (Heeter et., al 2005). The corporation has to undertake commercial broadcasting in order to make money to supplement the subtrahend; sponsors need the television station as a medium of communicating information about their goods and services to the ultimate consumers with the sole aim at arousing their interests for the goods. But as new television stations are established and more stations introduce modern broadcasting, the need to interrupt programmes at the detriment of the viewers will be further aggravated. Unless something is done now, this will be another ugly incident and further alienation of television audience.
The points mentioned above have acted as stimuli for this research which is to find out the attitude of television audience towards commercial interruption in television programmes. Attitude is here defined as ways of thinking or feeling towards something, in this case towards commercial interruption in television programmes. This attitude survey is very crucial because it embraces a lot of things. For instance, it transcends effects of commercial interruptions on television audience because it is only after a subject has observed the effect of a phenomenon that the subject can form a reasonable attitude towards that phenomenon (Downey, 2008). The sooner each new technology is studied, the greater the chance of bringing to use research results to influence policy in a meaningful way. We can deduce from these that it is necessary to examine audience attitude towards commercial interruption by Nigerian television stations at this embryonic state of televisions industry when the institutional and economic structures of broadcasting are still being formulated.
From this, reach and frequency goals are set. In general, the higher the rating (the larger the number of viewers with an ‘opportunity to see’ a particular programme), the higher the cost of the advertisement space during that time. (Lloyd and Clancy 2001). However the ratings only deliver vehicle exposure, that is, likelihood that an individual watch a television programme containing a particular advertisement (McDonald 1996). An individual therefore has an ‘opportunity to see’ the commercial but it is still not possible to say with any certainty that the ad was actually seen. Yet, from an advertiser’s point of view, it is the actual ad viewing which is important. Whereas media planners and advertisers readily accept that commercial audiences are smaller than programme audiences, no generalizable guideline exists by which they can determine the size of the television audience actually viewing their commercials.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Television by virtue of sound, vision and movement offers a high degree of creative flexibility. An increasing number of people have colour television sets and this allows for greater realism of presentation in commercials. What is more television has achieved a very high degree of penetration of the population and many people watch television programmes for several hours each day. However, these programmes are intermittently interrupted to make way for the insertion of commercial message, over 80% of the programmers on Nigerian television are interrupted as a result of commercial insertions, yet Nigeria television houses do not seem to see anything wrong or unusual about this situation. The situation has come to a stage where it will be logically assumed that the gullibility of the television audience is now taken for granted by television houses. Thus, this study examines this attitude of television audience in Auchi towards commercial interruption of television programmes. By and large attitude is a formidable factor in any human communication. It is defined as a psychological predisposition that allows a person to behave in a certain way towards objects, people or actions, hence, the objects in this case will be commercial interruptions of television programs. How they feel or react when the programmes they are watching on their television are interrupted midway by commercial message? Will television viewers pay more attention to commercial messages that tend to satisfy their needs than to commercial messages that do not satisfy their needs? Finally, would television audience recall faster commercial messages that tend to satisfy their needs than those that do not tend to satisfy their needs? This background will now form the bedrock of the statement of research problems which is self explanatory on “the attitude of television audience in Auchi towards commercial interruption of television programmes.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study, include the following.
1. To examine how regular and non regular viewers react to commercial interruption of television programmes.
2. To ascertain if viewers react when their favourite programs are interrupted by commercial messages.
3. To what extend do television audience pay attention to commercial messages.
4. To ascertain how television audience recall commercial messages that satisfy their needs than those that do not tend to satisfy their needs.
1.4 Research Question
1. Would uninterrupted television
programmes appeal more to regular viewers than to non-regular viewers?
2. Would viewers prefer their unfavourite programmes to be interrupted by commercials than their favourite programmes.
3. Would television audience pay more attention to commercials that tend to satisfy their needs than those that do not?
4. Would television audience recall faster that commercials that tend to satisfy their needs than those that do not?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study is significant to the staffs and management of media organization inorder to be enlighten about the problems commercial interruption of television programs pose to viewers.
This study will provide relevance material for students and other researchers undertaking similar research. The study will help researchers with more information on the attitude of television audience towards commercial interruption of television programmes.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is to examine the attitudes of television audience in Auchi towards commercials interruptions of television programmes a study of Papa Ajasco and the extent to which such variables like age, sex, educational level, marital status, income bracket and occupation will contribute in shaping these attitudes. The population of this study consists of Auchi community which population is about 197,607 according to 2006 census.