UK TV viewing times hit record high

Full year figures for TV viewing in 2008 from the Broadcasters‚ Audience Research Board (BARB) reveal that the average person in the UK watched 26 hours, 18 minutes of broadcast TV a week, up 48 minutes on 2007. This matches the previous highest broadcast viewing figure on record, reached in 2003.

The growth across all age groups was driven by commercial TV channels, which now account for 63 per cent of all broadcast TV viewing. The average person watched 16 hours, 24 minutes of commercial TV a week in 2008, 36 minutes more than in 2007. In the last ten years, commercial TV viewing alone has increased by one hour, 20 minutes a week.

Commercial TV's growth means commercial impacts the number of TV ads watched at normal speed also increased in 2008 to reach a new all time high. Total impacts are up 6.3 per cent on 2007, with 2.4 billion ads watched a day, an average of 42 ads seen per person every day

That broadcast TV viewing is growing simultaneously with online TV demonstrates that viewers are watching them for different reasons. Thinkbox research has shown that 78 per cent of online TV viewing is to catch-up with broadcast TV and that online TV increases viewer loyalty to channels and programmes.

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