Nielsen's Jon Gibs, Vice President for Insights, Online and Cross Media has a piece up on Nielsen Wire suggesting that we do not watch TV shows online the same way we watch them on TV:
The broader usage patterns suggest that online video is, for the most part, a replacement of DVR use, or used by those who do not have immediate access to TV. In short, TV network content online is used to catch up with programming, and not typically as a replacement for TV viewing as results from our email survey showed.
What are some of the reasons you watch
TV shows on the Internet?
Question % I forgot to watch a specific episode when it aired on TV 54% I am catching up on the current season of programming because I missed a large number of episodes 47% I am catching up on a past season of a program before the next season airs 33% I forgot to record a specific episode with my DVR or TiVo when it aired on TV 32% Another member of my household watches another program at the same time as the show I want to watch 18% I watch TV programming online when I am at work 12% I watch TV programming online when I travel 12%
Source: The Nielsen Company – January 2009
In most cases you can count me in the "Oops, forgot to set the season pass on my DVR" camp (Hulu was already up to catch-up w/Human Target, thus the picture above), or for those rare occasions when there are more than 2 things I want to watch on at the same time, and it isn't something that is available via my cable's On Demand. Sadly, no FOX programming is available on my On Demand service.