Date of Award

June 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Media Studies


Brad Gorham


binge, effects, reception, television, viewer, watch

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


The modern television viewer enjoys an unprecedented amount of choice and control - a direct result of widespread availability of new technology and services. Cultivated in this new television landscape is the phenomenon of binge watching, a popular conversation piece in the current zeitgeist yet a greatly under-researched topic academically. This exploratory research study was able to make significant strides in understanding binge watching by examining its effect on the viewer - more specifically, how it affects their reception towards a television show. Utilizing a uses and gratifications perspective, this study conducted an experiment on 212 university students who were assigned to watch one of two drama series, and designated a viewing condition, binge watching or appointment viewing. Data gathered using preliminary and post questionnaires, as well as short episodic diary surveys, measured reception factors such as opinion, enjoyment and satisfaction. This study found that the effect of binge watching on viewer reception is contingent on the show. Results also revealed that binge watching better delivers an escape gratification for viewers than appointment viewing.


Open Access