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Third of Irish adults would ditch TV licence

Irish adults are considering scrapping their TV licences as online TV viewing increases, Pure Telecom has found. The telco commissioned a survey that revealed more than one-third of adults would consider ditching their TV licence in favour of solely watching internet-reliant TV and video content. The research, carried out by iReach in May 2016, surveyed 1,000 online adults across Ireland.

All households must pay for a TV licence if they are in possession of a television set capable of receiving television broadcasts. However, Pure Telecom research found that as streaming channels continue to roll out their own top quality TV series and movies, people are reconsidering their annual €160 fee. TV licence revenue in 2015 was €214 million.

Millennials are the most likely to scrap their TV licence in favour of watching internet-only content, with 15 per cent saying they intend to stop paying the fee in the next five years and a further 28 per cent saying they would consider it. Overall, of the 86 per cent of online adults that pay for a TV licence, 36 per cent said they will consider, or already intend on, ditching it in the next five years.

The survey also found that almost one-quarter (23 per cent) of Irish households have abandoned paid TV services, such as satellite or cable, in the past five years as a result of the increase in viewing content online. Some 37 per cent intend to cancel their paid TV contracts in the next five years as they view more Internet-reliant TV and video.

Some 88 per cent of adults with a fixed-line broadband connection stream video content – increasing to 95 per cent for millennials. Of the adults who do not currently have a fixed-line broadband service at home (19 per cent), almost one-third (31 per cent) are likely to get one in the next five years with the sole purpose of accessing more video and TV content online.

The online survey showed that a typical person watches 5.5 hours of streamed and Internet-driven video per week, with men watching 6.75 hours and women watching five hours. Millennials, meanwhile, watch eight hours, reflecting the growing phenomenon of ‘binge watching’ TV shows.

“These results reflect what we have been seeing in Pure Telecom for the last few years – particularly in the past 12 months,” commented Paul Connell, Director, Pure Telecom. “Media consumption is evolving and Internet traffic is at an all-time high due to customers watching and downloading content online. Streaming channels are producing top quality original TV shows and movies, which people can watch at any time that suits them. However, streaming channels add another household bill to the mix, so people who are already active users of the Internet are starting to think about what other expenses they can do without.”

“As reliance on Internet-driven content increases, people need the bandwidth and broadband speeds to get the best quality. That is why we launched our Lightning Fibre service this May, which can provide customers with speeds of 1,000Mbps – the fastest Internet speeds in the country,” he claimed.

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