Is TV Helping or Hurting Same-Sex Marriage?

New Findings from Ipsos MediaCT TV Dailies Study Shows TV’s Impact on America’s Gay Marriage Debate

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Los Angeles, CA - National polls have shown that a majority of Americans are now in favor of same-sex marriage, a shift from just a few years ago. So why the change? A recent survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT shows that 18% of television viewers aged 13-64 say that TV in general has changed their opinion of same-sex marriage in a positive way. In contrast, just 10% say TV impacted their opinion negatively. A little under half (44%) say they are in favor of same-sex marriage and TV has not changed their opinion, while 28% have not changed their opposition.

“Based on this data, I think we can conclude that TV has, at least in part, moved the needle of public opinion to see same-sex marriage in a positive way,” says Ben Spergel, Senior Vice President and Head of TV Insights at Ipsos MediaCT. “With everything from higher profile portrayals of gay characters, to celebrity support of gay marriage, to last year’s groundbreaking endorsement by President Obama, we are seeing a shift in our culture that is being influenced by popular culture.”

Besides entertainment programming featuring positive portrayals of same-sex couples, the historic Supreme Court hearings on California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) were a featured story on just about every news channel. Nearly half (47%) of TV viewers surveyed feel that TV coverage has been generally well balanced between proponents and opponents of gay marriage, while a third (33%) feel it is skewed towards the proponents.

Three-in-ten (30%) respondents say that they watched some news coverage of the Supreme Court hearings.

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Source: Ipsos MediaCT’s TV Dailies


These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted from Monday, April 1 – Sunday, April 7, 2013 using Ipsos MediaCT’s TV Dailies survey among a nationwide sample of 1,096 persons aged 13-64 who watch primetime TV at least two nights a week.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Ben Spergel
Senior Vice President
Ipsos MediaCT

About Ipsos MediaCT

Ipsos MediaCT is the market research specialization within Ipsos built to reach, engage and more effectively understand today’s digitally-driven consumer in the fast moving media, content and technology space.

We work with leading companies in technology, entertainment and all sectors of media – TV, online, print, mobile, outdoor, radio – helping owners and advertisers to better understand different audiences, the content they consume, the channels they use to consume it and the technology they use to discover, talk about and access this content.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 85 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,789 billion (2.300 billion USD) in 2012.

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Is TV Helping or Hurting Same-Sex Marriage?

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Press Release


Ben Spergel
Senior Vice President,
Media Insights

Ipsos MediaCT