African-American television viewers are amongst the most coveted demographics in television. Networks and marketing firms spend millions of dollars and thousands of man hours coming up with programming and advertising that will engage and excite African-American audiences. A recent survey finds that 97 percent of African-Americans are not satisfied with current programming targeted to their community. Black audiences comprise 13 percent of TV households in the US.
These results speak to the longstanding frustrations that African-Americans have had with how they are depicted in the media. Black audiences have long demanded more positive images of African-Americans on television. The ABC hit Scandal has given the networks verifiable proof that black Americans will tune in to programs where they see themselves portrayed in a more positive and realistic light.
The type of programming respondents said they would like to see more of are documentaries, news, black-oriented talk shows and cooking shows. This survey demonstrates there is a real opportunity for broadcasters to build a loyal following by shifting their television line ups to better suit what African-American audiences have been long waiting to see.
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