Television Viewing Habits of Nigerian Elites

Television Viewing Habits of Nigerian Elites

The tendency, most of the time especially  in the developing countries, is for media practitioners to package their media contents well.  In doing this, they do not take into consideration their supposedly diverse audience.  This may be as a result of professional ignorance or perhaps taking the audience for granted.  But taking the viewer, listener or reader for granted today is very costly on the part of the communicator.

In same vein, may be the level of our development still makes the media operators in each of the sectors not to care very much about the programme requirements  of the various audience for example, the programmes contents of some of our television stations do not take care of the heterogeneous viewing public.  This implies that each audience has specific reason  (s) for tuning into a particular programme in fact   their media expectations seem to be diverse as their   demographic and psychographic variables.

To attain the ultimate goal of communication which  has to do with meeting audience needs, ensuring their continuous patronage and profitability, the satisfaction of the audience must be guaranteed through result- oriented, popular, diverse and professional packaged programme contents. To achieve this, the true nature eof the audience must be known.  This possible through audience segmentation- that is the dissection into specific needs and their characteristics.  This is a must for communicators whether in advertising, public relation, broadcasting etc it is very imperative as the availability of information is one thing ad its effect another.

With the society becoming more complex every day, different need are bound to exist with people from different backgrounds- education  social, culture, economic, ethnic language  political and religious different,   media needs must prevail. No one can meet such needs through mere guesses or trial.  Agee, etal (1985) put it this way “Unsystematic, informal, intuitive method is not longer adequate for the modern communicator for so many reason”

It is  also in the interest of media operators to consider  this.  The stiff competitive environment the media are involved  today means the media operators must be professionally ethically and profitably minded.  To attain this, the practitioners must embrace audience research in order to clearly understand the desires of the audience.

“In  some studies researchers are seeking to determine the motivations for media use in others the goal is to determine the gratification people derive from suing the media”, said Agee etal (1985).

Okunna (1994 supports this :

Through use and gratification research, communication scholars have shown that everywhere, people selectively expose  themselves to mass media contents, choosing only these media message that would serve the functions of satisfying or gratifying their needs”

This is the situation at a time, information and communication have assumed new dimension in globals scheme of things.  It is today almost the fourth essential need of man, after food,  shelter and security.

Communication, whether through radio, television,  newspaper, magazine or internet is today central to the survival of man for  man’s optimal, functionality, he requires daily dosages of information, irrespective  of his area of profession.

When man’s goals of media patronage are met, he reciprocates, by aiding the funding of media contents through advertisement and sponsorship.  In turn the media make profit  reinvest and thereby boost the economy.  The present poor performance of the Nigerian foundation s manifested in over – centralized location, poor funding, inefficient personnel, besides the poor quality programmes coming from them.  This has resulted in gross imbalance and pardon of the actual needs of the audience, which of course is a sight.

So, what are the present situation needs of   the television  viewership in Enugu, efforts of the local and international stations to meet them, and translate the  viewer desires into profit.


Modern communicators can no longer afford to be insensitive to the wishes of today’s audience  their successes and failures are directly linked to their packaging of functional   and result oriented programmes in tune with the demands of the audience.

Evidences abound to the effect that television broadcasting stations available to Enugu viewership are insensitive to this fact.  This is bound to have  impact on their viewing habit.  The stations they tune to the programmes contents of television stations available to Enugu audience.


          The above problem must be solved for improved and qualitative television programmes for the Enugu viewership.  To this end the objective of this study include.

1.       To ascertain the qualitativeness   of the television programmes available to Enugu viewing Audience.

To fond out the factors which influence their programmes selections and choice.

To know the stations and programmes at their disposal.

To determine the inputs which goes into those programmes packaging

To know the effects of the choice of specific television progrmme and their over all influence  in the lives of the audience .


The study is bound to have  tremendous influence on a number of people, as well as to various spheres of lives or endeavour like politics businesses, education, economy etc

Hence, at the end, media practitioners, managers, policy makers, politicians, researchers   scholars and students etc. will benefit from the study  if successfully concluded.

The dearth of accurate information, particularly in the area of media research and audience segmentation, makes the study more unique and if well conducted will providential  data for media planning, execution  and evaluation, vital for more effective media performance and efficient results.


How varied and result oriented are the television stations available to the audience in Enugu?

Are the programmes of the television stations qualitative enough to meet audience needs?

What are the factors determining the audiences programmes choice?

How impactful are the available programmes to the audience?

What are their chances for improvement, if need be ?


Hi:     The television stations available to the audience   are result oriented.

Ho:    The  television stations available to be audience are not result oriented.

H2:    The programmes of the television station are qualitative enough to meet their needs

Ho:    The   programmes of the television station are not qualitative enough to meet their needs.

H3:    The  television  programmes are useful to the  viewing audience

Ho:    The  television programmes are not useful to viewing audience.




Conceptual :         Group in society considered being superior, because of power, talent and privileges.

Operational:         Class in Nigerian  that is Holding on to power and controls affairs of state.


Conceptual :         the ability  to see something or to be seen from a particular  place.

Operational:         the watching, reception, contents with a view  to enjoying, retaining and assimilating their contents.


Conceptual:          A  piece of electrical  equipment with a glass screen, which shows broadcast,  programmes with moving pictures and sound.

Operational:         The transmission of information through the airwaves, which involves the use of the airwaves and coveys both visual 2 and audio contents.


Conceptual:          A group of people who have gathered together to hear  or watch somebody  or something.

Operational:         The media content receiver, consumer they are the television viewers.


Conceptual:          A very big town

Operational:         The former capital of the Eastern Region, East central state, Anambra state and now Enugu state.  The coal city, Enugu is an administrative and educational town, inhabiting people with diverse culture.



          For  want of time and other resources the scope of this study   is limited.  It cannot but  limit itself  to just sections of Enugu . for this reason it centres on six chosen parts of Enugu  involving three areas of slum, rural and urban.

The result is no doubt representative  of the problem   outcome of what would have been the entire result.  Therefore the result is valid reliable enough to lend to replicable outcome elsewhere.


          Television as a medium  of information dissemination, has peculiar and unique features. These according to Okunna  (1994) include audio visual qualities, colour and the ability to demonstrate  and practicalize  things,  if the need arises.

These were supported by Aliede (1999) who added such other features like immediacy, massive outreach and exiting/ enthusiasm perhaps it is the nature  of these characteristics that make television appealing more to some class of audience than others.  For instance since it can show events live and practical too, it distinguishes itself from other media, which sometimes can only report past events like newspaper and magazines.

In the same vein the elite as an audience of mass communication has its own peculiarity too. With  its socio- economic background, no doubt, its needs and expectations from the media must differ. They are well educated,  most of the time   up to tertiary level.  The singular variable places the elite in an evaluated class of distribution, among them, occupational level, social status, economic background and at the reach of plum  position in political circles, business and management  cadres, among others.

In other words, the elite  is in a vintage position  to utilize television, in spite of its highest cost.  It is costlier  to procure its sets and accessories and pay for such other inputs like electricity that is one of the reasons   why television is more of an urban affair than other media. This is in addition to its language of communication compared with radio which more easily adopt to local language.

The above attributes of both the elite and the television medium, no doubt, would have tremendous effects on the kinds of message the latter package and of course the viewing habit of the former.  In  fact those who reside in the urban  areas, the urbanites generate most of news items aired by he media.  In  same vein, they constitute majority informs why the media.  In same vein, they constitute majority informs why the media are biased in favour of the urban dweller. It is not surprising McBride (1980) advocates rather for ‘” basic structural changes (so that) the potential benefit to technological  and communication development will

“….be put at the disposal of the majority of mankind”

The call had to be made, as it is known that most of media contents today address the needs at the minority  few to the determent of the majority.

Okigbo (1991) buttress this fear “hardly a day goes by that some editor or political leaders in the third world does not agree that the western media alone is indicated in the issue as the local can hardly be exonerated”

On the other hand, this is understandable  as the media operators package their services to suit markets and profit goals.

“One maj8or flaw in our attempt to mobilize the masses is that those design and send out message un- willingly alienate those for whom the messages are meant. That is the so- called masses.  senders of message, and other government and private personnel responsible for information and message design and disseminate – arrogate to themselves  a degree, of omniscience with regard to the message or information needs of the audience’s.

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