Internet more important than TV, study says

Perhaps serendipitously on the same day that Comcast apparently won the right to more tightly control its high-speed broadband Internet service, a study conducted by Arbitron and Edison Research concluded that the Internet has surpassed TV as Americans' "most essential" medium.

Forty-nine percent of consumers confronted with a choice of never again watching television or never again accessing the Internet chose to eliminate TV while 48 percent said they would get rid of the Internet. The remaining three percent were undecided--perhaps they'd just curl up with a newspaper. In 2001 when the same question was asked, 72 percent of respondents said they could do without the Internet.

The study did avoid a murky in-between area. The Internet is becoming increasingly popular as a place to access "television," per se and televisions are increasingly being attached to the Internet. It's estimated that almost 100 million connected TVs will be shipped in 2013, blurring the lines between the Internet and TV.

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