. . . “you could read the phone book after Seinfeld and get a 25% viewer share.”That is from the paper "Micro-costs: Inertia in Television Viewing" by Esteves-Sorenson, and Perretti" (March 2012). The study was done in Italy. From the abstract:
Despite the low costs of clicking the remote and of searching across only six channels and viewers’ extensive experience with the decision, show choice depends strongly on whether viewers happened to watch the previous programme on the channel. Specifically, male and female viewership of the news depends on whether the preceding programme appealed to men or women, and a show’s audience increases by 2-4% with an increase of 10% in the demand for the preceding programme.From the conclusion:
In the United Kingdom, where the BBC is statutorily mandated to air educational content, executives use popular lowbrow programs to nudge viewers into watching the subsequent educational shows: “[...] it is a revival of the old idea of hammocking difficult programs between entertainment[...]”A draft of the paper is here.