Couple Watching Television

(© Andrey Popov -

NEW YORK — It seems a lot of people are losing the battle over the remote control. A new survey finds the average American in a relationship will spend 408 hours a year watching something they don’t particularly like out of love for their partner.

The OnePoll survey of 2,000 Americans revealed that respondents in a relationship will sit in front of the TV for four hours each week watching a program only their partner enjoys. Two in three (65%) think their willingness to sit through a show or movie they despise is a sign of true love.

Tv tastes

Television tastes can truly be a “make or break” topic for relationships. In fact, 42 percent of single respondents said it would be a total “deal breaker” if a potential partner disliked their favorite show or movie. Deciding what to watch, even without romance in the equation, is still a relationship minefield for those living together during the pandemic. Among respondents currently living with others, two in three admit the process of deciding “what to watch” is a complete hassle.


The survey, commissioned by SkinnyPop, also finds 67 percent would rather watch something they don’t necessarily like than get into an argument over it. When it comes to a group of family or friends, 50 percent say it takes them over ten minutes to come to an agreement.

The sheer amount of content available makes America’s viewing decisions even tougher. More than six in 10 (64%) feel like they waste hours scrolling through channel guides and streaming menus. The same amount confessed they get so overwhelmed they usually just give up and put on something they’ve already seen.

Snacking while scrolling

Respondents could be taking so long to make up their minds because they’re usually attempting to multitask. Over half the poll (51%) are munching on snacks while scrolling through TV options and 46 percent are browsing apps on their phones too.

Three in five (59%) admit they sometimes finish all their snacks before they’ve even come to a decision on what to watch. Another 63 percent described that empty bowl moment as “devastating.”

“Decisions are never easy, but the survey showed that the stakes are especially high when making TV-watching choices. So once you’ve agreed on a show and settled into the couch for a marathon session, the last thing you want is another argument over what to eat,” a spokesperson for SkinnyPop says in a statement.

Tv tastes

Fifty-eight percent say they sometimes regret the number of snacks they eat in front of the TV. The same number also regret devouring a whole snack bag in one sitting. Too much snacking can also slow down respondents as 65 percent would like to find a snack they can enjoy during a TV or movie marathon but won’t make them feel sluggish after the credits roll.


Popcorn still reigns supreme when watching TV

When it comes to the best snacks for a marathon, popcorn tops the list with 56 percent favoring the movie food classic. Chips come in second with 52 percent picking them as their snack of choice.

Crackers (37%), cheese (35%), and candy (35%) round out the top five snack options.

“The last thing you want is a snack that slows you down while marathoning your favorite show. The survey proved Americans want snacks they can enjoy endlessly as they press play on another episode,” the spokesperson for SkinnyPop adds.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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