New TiVo research: Republicans watch golf, Democrats prefer NBA

Published: Friday, Oct. 12 2012 5:29 p.m. MDT

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse in La Crosse, Wis., Friday, Oct. 12, 2012.

Tom Lynn, AP

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New research reveals a correlation between political affiliation and what people watch on TV.

"Registered Republicans are very interested in golf," Bill Carter wrote for the New York Times' Media Decoder blog on Thursday evening. "As for registered Democrats, they seem to be partial to cartoons. And Republicans tend to watch NCAA basketball, while Democrats prefer the National Basketball Association."

TRA Inc. provided the research Carter cited. The information — which isn't publicly available — comes from 186,846 households with TiVo set-top boxes that researchers were able to match up to voter-registration records.

Carter further reported the Republican list included NASCAR and reality TV shows such as "American Idol," "Survivor," "The Biggest Loser" and "The Amazing Race." Democrats, on the other hand, tended to watch sitcoms such as "Community" and "30 Rock," as well as animated programs like "Family Guy," "American Dad" and "The Cleveland Show."

By Friday morning, Carter had followed up his Media Decoder post with a separate entry on the Times' The Caucus blog that focused on which news broadcasts Republicans and Democrats prefer. For example, "the Fox News audience is tilted Republican by 44 percent above the base of registered voters nationwide. The number for MSNBC is almost the same for Democratic voters, a 43 percent skew."

TRA is an analytics firm that TiVo purchased in June for a reported $20 million. At the time of the transaction, the firm kept its acronymic name — but changed the underlying meaning from "The Right Audience" to "TiVo Research and Analytics."

Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaskar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.

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