Freesat: TV is more influential than ever

UK’s Freesat has revealed a study called ‘The Joy of Sets’ that claims the biggest motivation for watching TV is the opportunity to talk about it with others. People no longer just tune in to be entertained. When we are not talking about it, we are inspired by it – to change jobs, take up a new interest or even shape relationships.

The study, done in collaboration with media psychologist Dr Brian Young from the University of Exeter, says the adoption and accessibility of digital media has changed behaviours and attitudes towards TV for good. People now tune in to actively participate in the TV experience. We are a nation of ‘active TV consumers’ who watch TV on our terms.

The report shows:
TV is a hot topic of conversation – more than a third of people (37 per cent) spend up to five hours a week talking about their favourite programmes with friends – and men spend more time gossiping about TV than women
TV changes lives – TV programmes have inspired people to:
– Take up a new hobby (80 per cent)
– Travel to different parts of the world (85 per cent)
-Consider a career change (55 per cent)
– TV sparks love – 20 per cent of men have found a new girlfriend thanks to a shared interest in TV
– The couch potato may be an endangered species – 75 per cent of people agree that catch up TV and PVRs (Personal Video Recorders) have meant they have a more active social life now they’re no longer a slave to the TV schedule
– Most parents (62 per cent) allow their children to watch between one to three hours of TV each day – nearly a half admit that’s more than they watched when they were children
– TV safeguards still valid – Most (76 per cent) parents thought that the watershed of 9pm was still relevant in today’s society
– Economy matters – The tough economy is making nearly a third of people (28 per cent) watch up to 50 per cent more TV

Freesat’s Managing Director, Emma Scott, said: “Freesat now provides subscription free satellite TV to one and a half million customers so it is important that we gain a greater understanding of the power of what people are watching. The influence of TV is greater than ever, and with that comes a greater responsibility on broadcasters and TV services to provide quality programming and choice that viewers don’t have to pay a high price for, particularly in these tough economic times.”

The report marks the rise of the ‘active TV consumer’ according to Dr Young. They are no longer happy to put up with “wallpaper” but actively engage in what they watch. And they are turning off the TV more, thanks to catch up TV and PVRs to spend more quality time with family or lead more active lives.

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