Viewers regularly watch television with others, but the role of coviewing is often overlooked in entertainment effects models. Further, the models are rarely investigated in natural settings, limiting their ecological validity. The current study used experience sampling via text message to examine college students’ daily coviewing behaviors. Momentary assessments were taken 3 times a day for 1 week. Respondents reported their happiness during viewing and the enjoyableness of their experiences. Consistent with emotional contagion theory, data suggest that increases in emotional intensity mediated the effect of emotional contagion on program enjoyment, but only among respondents who reported coviewing with someone else. These results provide preliminary evidence that social context is partially responsible for contagious transfer of affect during entertainment experiences.
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