Television Viewing Habits Of Nigerian Elites (A Case Study Of Enugu Metropolis)

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Television Viewing Habits Of Nigerian Elites (A Case Study Of Enugu Metropolis)


The objective of this work is to appraise the television viewing habits of the Nigerian elites, with Enugu as a case study. The data were collected by means of self- administered questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistical tools like percentage, average and frequency distribution. The results showed that the elites dominated our research sample. 158 (52.6%) agreed while 142 or (47.3%) disagreed. They believed; they include improved funding, qualified personnel, new technology, professionalism, absence of interference, more freedom, privatization and boosted economy. Our findings as discovered using percentage, frequency and tabular method of presentations show our samples high preference for high quality television programmes a factor which had made those who afford it to go for foreign stations like CNN, BBC World, super sports, channel O, ESPEN, Discovery channel etc.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

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 ver 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.

1.2 Statement of Research Problem

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.

1.3 Objective of the Study

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. 1. To ascertain the qualitativeness of the television programmes available to Enugu viewing Audience.
  2. To fond out the factors which influence their programmes selections and choice.
  3. To know the stations and programmes at their disposal.
  4. To determine the inputs which goes into those programmes packaging
  5. To know the effects of the choice of specific television progrmme and their over all influence in the lives of the audience .

1.4 Significance of the Study

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.

1.5 Research Questions

  1. How varied and result oriented are the television stations available to the audience in Enugu?
  2. Are the programmes of the television stations qualitative enough to meet audience needs?
  3. What are the factors determining the audiences programmes choice?
  4. How impactful are the available programmes to the audience?
  5. What are their chances for improvement, if need be ?

1.6 Research Hypotheses

  1. Hi: The television stations available to the audience are result oriented.
    Ho: The television stations available to be audience are not result oriented.
  2. 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.
  3. H3: The television programmes are useful to the viewing audience
    Ho: The television programmes are not useful to viewing audience.

1.7 Definition of Terms


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


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


The ability to see something or to be seen from a particular place.


The watching, reception, contents with a view to enjoying, retaining and assimilating their contents.


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


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


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


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


A very big town


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.

1.8 Scope and Limitation of the Study

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.

Chapter Five

Summary of Findings, Recommendations and Conclusion

5.1 Summary of Findings

Our findings as discovered using percentage, frequency and tabular methods include.

Our varied audience were highly educational, occupational, were placed and of the right ages to make their personal decisions,

The respondents had tremendous interest in media exposure, not just television.

They appreciate the functions of television, which they believe is elitist.

They showed preference for foreign television and justified, including reasons for the poor performance of local television stations they accept that private do better than public one and gave names of foreign stations they like.
They did not believe foreign stations give negative impact on viewers, harping on freedom of choice.

To them, television and national development and that with their endowments, foreign stations can do is better.

They advanced solutions to the problem facing our local televisions.

All the research question were positively confirmed.

5.2 Recommendations

Following the nature of some of our findings, some recommendations became pertinent, so as to solve the problem found and also authenticate the reliability and dependability of our findings.

There should be improved funding of our television station, both private and government

The quality of the personnel of the stations should be enhanced through training and retraining. This will enable serve the desires of sensitive audience like the elities.

Operating with equipment is to the disadvantages of our stations. They should be provided with modern technology.

The practitioners should strictly adhere to professionalism, social responsibility and code of conduct governing their operations.

The operators should be afforded the needed freedom to perform their functions optimally.

The success f the media much depends on income which depends on advertising, which is more pronounced under buoyant economy. Therefore, new measures should be evolved the ailing economy.

Our televisions stations, should as a matter of policy, engage in audience research this will afford them the crucial information with which to plan and execute those programmes, which will earn them more view ship, patronage and revenue.

A more detailed study could still be undertaken in order to authenticate and replicate the present work.

5.3 Conclusions

As a result of audience’s varied background as shown by their different demographic and psychographic variables, people’s viewing habits can never be the same. To understand the peculiar attitude of the elites as regards their television consumption, this research work was undertaken.

To ensure close and effective work, we chose survey research method. It effective work, we chose survey research method. It afforded us person to person touch as we administered the questionnaire, resulting in our attaining 100% return of the question, as intensive and strategic measure we adopted enable us collect back all the 300 copies of the questionnaire, form the six different areas.

  • New Heaven and Trans Ekulu (urabn)
  • Abakpa Nike and Obiagu (slums)
  • Emene and Awkunanaw (as rural)

The data collections over the statistics were subjected to rigorous analysis, using simple percentage ad tabular method of presentations. The analyses followed.

Earlier, the objective of the work was set, backed by the research questions and uses and certificates as a theoretical framework

The interpretation of the analyzed results showed our samples high preference for high quality television programmes a factor which had made those who afford it to go for foreign stations like CNN, BBC World, super sports, channel O, ESPEN, Discovery channel etc. they justified doing this and explained the handicaps facing our local stations, blaming their preference for foreign stations on the poor quality of the programmes of the local ones due to those shortcomings.

On the other hand, such factors like availability of resources, qualified manpower, professionalism, freedom of operation, among others, were what they felt made the performance of the foreign television stations better. The respondents however acknowledge the same programmes of the foreign stations could be negative, but however behaved they still contribute to national development.

As the end, they prescribed what could be done to put our local station in place to aid national development, through imporved goals in mobilization and orientation of the Nigeria

Findings of the work and the subsequent revelations are glaring enough to justify the efforts expended on the research. Hopefully the findings are generalisable and could therefore represent the opinion of the entire Nigeria elite. The work could therefore be adjudged a success of sort.

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