It has been almost one full month since I presented the TV Channel Challenge, and the results were less surprising than I thought.  In fact, I stopped officially tracking after about 2 weeks because of how predictable my viewing is.  I basically watch about 5-6 shows on a regular basis (thank you to whomever created DVR!) and don’t really have much time to watch anything beyond that.  Here is the breakdown:

  • NBC – 2 – 3 hours per week (The Office, 30 Rock, Heroes, and occasionally a bit of SNL or Chuck, which leads in to Heroes)
  • ABC – 2 hours per week (LOST and Scrubs, when it isn’t on a 4-week hiatus)
  • HBO – 30 minutes per week (Flight of the Conchords)
  • ESPN, National Geographic, History Channel, or Discovery – a total of 30 minutes per week for all four channels.  I rarely channel surf anymore.

I will have to add 30 minutes of FX to this list once It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returns, as well as 30 minutes of Comedy Central for South Park.  I would absolutely love to pay my cable company as reduced rate to only receive those 7-10 channels!!!

My wife’s cousin, Emily, and her boyfriend, Dan, visited us last night as part of their 12 hour trip down the East Coast. We spent a great deal of time talking about Lost and other TV shows in general, and then Dan raised an interesting point: he only watches about 5 channels on his TV.  He pointed out that this seems like a waste of his cable package, since there are approximately 800 channels that he never even visits. Dan expressed a wish that cable companies would offer a service where customers can select the channels they receive, and different subscription packages would determine how many channels each customer can choose.

I recognized the genius in this idea as soon as I heard it, and I quickly guesstimated that my wife and I watch no more than 15 channels on our TV.  I also wondered how many channels are ‘used’ by the average household.  With those questions in mind, my wife and I are going to keep a “TV Diary” for one month to figure out how many channels we actually watch/use/need, and how long we spend on each of those channels.

What about you? Do you ‘use’ the entire spectrum of your cable package, or are you more like us in that you only use a small percentage of channels? Feel free to keep a diary of your channel habits (what channel and how long you watched) and share the results in the comments section so that we can compare our channel ‘usage.’

UPDATE: I have created an excel sheet that calculates elapsed time to make it easier to track the time you have spent watching each channel.  Click here to download your Rubywahoo Channel Challenge Tracker