The growth of direct broadcast satellite television distribution to the home as a viable competitor to cable and terrestrial broadcast has fostered the availability of special interest or niche channels and therefore provided greater choice to the viewer. This study, based on uses and gratifications theory, examined the relationships among ritual and instrumental viewing motivations and satisfactions, viewer religiosity, and viewing attentiveness as they related to the selection of a niche television channel, Brigham Young University Television.
The uses and gratification approach provides an appropriate framework for studying "media consumption, the interrelated nature of television user motives, and the relationships among viewing motives and viewing patterns" (Abelman, 1989, p. 57). Data was gathered by way of an online survey of non-random, self-selected BYU Television viewers. Participants answered 67 questions about their motives for choosing to view BYU Television and the gratifications they received from their viewing. The 596 valid responses to the survey were analyzed.
The study results are in harmony with previous uses and gratifications studies examining ritual and instrumental viewing patterns. The data found positive relationships between instrumental viewing motives and instrumental viewing satisfactions, as well as instrumental viewing motives and viewing selectivity. There was no support for those hypotheses that dealt with the level of viewing attention as it related to religiosity or instrumental viewing motives.
Future topics of study are suggested including the opportunity an expanded media universe provides to increase the depth and breadth of uses and gratification theory, as well as to study the role of niche television services in community building.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Communications



Date Submitted


Document Type





BYU Television, Provo, Utah, Direct broadcast satellite television, Television viewers, Attitudes, Consumer satisfaction