In a year dramatically impacted by the economic recession, consumers have returned to in-home entertainment, showing increased interest in watching television over other types of entertainment, according to the findings of Deloitte's 2009 ‘State of the Media Democracy’ survey reveals a 26 per cent increase in the number of Americans choosing the TV as their favourite type of media as compared to the previous year.

More than 70 per cent of survey respondents rank watching TV in their top three favourite media activities. And, when ranked alongside activities such as surfing the Web, listening to music or reading, 34 per cent of consumers place it at the top of the list. This is a substantial increase from last year and more than double the percent selecting the number two choice, the Internet, which came in at 14 per cent.

When watching their favourite TV programming, 86 per cent of survey respondents prefer watching on their television set, enjoying the programming either live, via their DVR/TiVo, or using an ‘On Demand’ feature. While less than 10 per cent of Americans say they prefer watching the same content online, a growing number of consumers are using online platforms to watch their favourite TV shows.

At the same time, 72 per cent of Americans report that they have been forced to reduce their purchases of other entertainment products such as movies, concerts, sporting events, DVDs, CDs and videogames.

Potentially foreshadowing an increasingly central role for the television, 65 per cent of respondents would like to be able to easily connect their home TV to the Internet so that they can view videos or downloaded content. This is a significant trend that has gained strength over the last three years.

"Television content continues to fascinate Americans," said Ed Moran, Deloitte director of insights and innovation. "The recession has increased demand for in-home entertainment, with consumers choosing to invest in the enhancement of their TV experience. This dynamic, combined with new flat panel models that access content from the Internet, will further blur the lines between TV and the Internet."