channel-surfing

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channel surfing

The frequent changing of channels when watching television, especially for an extended period of time. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. I hate channel surfing. I can't understand why people don't just pick a program and watch it!
See also: channel, surfing

channel-surfing

Quickly switching between channels on a TV, as while looking for a program to watch. I'm channel-surfing, but it doesn't look like anything good is on.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

channel surfing

Switching from one television station (channel) to another frequently, either to search for an interesting program or to keep track of several programs at once. For example, What did you see on TV last night?-Nothing much; I was just channel surfing. The term transfers the surfer's search for good waves to the viewer's search for programs. This practice became widespread with the use of remote-control devices for changing channels while remaining seated some distance from the television set. [1980s] A 1990s version is Internet surfing, a similar process for searching cyberspace.
See also: channel, surfing
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

channel surfing

verb
See also: channel, surfing
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
As hard-to-reach consumers flip past print ads, zoom past billboards, and channel-surf through commercials, it becomes obvious that conventional advertising methods may not perform as well in a crowded marketplace.
Now more than ever, technologies such as VCRs and remote controls allow individuals to create their own viewing contexts: We channel-surf, flicking between dozens of stations, switching between a ball game and a performance of Oedipus Rex.
What about the factors that make people stop watching a show, and instead channel-surf to explore other viewing options?
As auds channel-surf, stopping only if something niche catches their eye, channels have few chances to garner TAM ratings points, all within the short time the audience spends watching news--averaging between 5 and 15 minutes per day."
While our American cousins could channel-surf stations offering everything from home shopping to movies, cable television in this country has always been a poor relation.
One channel-surf through the channels indicates which demo Oscar advertisers covet.