Warning to television broadcasters: a recent poll has confirmed that the growing popularity of the Internet means users are spending less time watching TV.

Fifty percent of Internet users surveyed by Giga Japan Corp. said the total number of hours they spend watching TV has decreased since they began surfing the Net. Most users, however, said the number of hours spent reading magazines and newspapers has been unaffected.

“People are getting their general information from paper media, such as newspapers and magazines. But more people are using the Internet for specific information (and shunning TV),” said Tomoyasu Chigahara, manager of the online survey group.

People don’t just sit in front of the TV and wait for information anymore, they go and find it themselves, he said. Giga Japan surveyed 4,000 Internet users online, with 956 responding via the Net.

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