At least one in three people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) watch 3 to 5 hours of television every day during Ramadan compared to the regional average of 3.1 hours throughout the rest of the year, according to a survey on Ramadan TV viewing habits by OSN, the pay-TV network.
Egypt led the region with more than 37 per cent watching 3 to 5 hours of TV, 26 per cent spending 1 to 3 hours and 15 per cent hooked to their entertainment for 5 to 7 hours each day.
In Saudi Arabia, 33 per cent spend 3 to 5 hours every day, while in UAE and Kuwait, 32 and 30 per cent, respectively, dedicate 3 to 5 hours for TV viewing.
Nearly 60 per cent of respondents across the region emphasised the importance of watching the latest shows first, before anyone else. Watching the latest series first was particularly stressed by Kuwaiti (70 per cent), Saudi Arabia and UAE (65 per cent each) residents. Across the region, over 80 per cent of viewers polled reinforced the importance of watching their favourite TV in HD
Hamad Malik, Chief Marketing Officer, OSN, said, “While it is common knowledge that television consumption increases during Ramadan and series are preferred, our survey highlights the increasing demand to watch original content before anyone else and in high definition. This is a strong vote of confidence for OSN and is in line with our strategy to provide the latest movies and series in true HD first and exclusively on our channels.”
Nearly 60 per cent of those polled also highlighted the importance of being able to watch television at their own convenience, and being able to create their own personalised TV experience.
“With busy schedules especially during Ramadan, viewers need more control over their TV viewing experience so they can watch what they want when they want. We understand this, which is why OSN is putting a lot of emphasis on the viewer controlling their entertainment through OSN’s innovative technology and our value added services such as ‘On Demand’ and ‘Ramadan Catch Up’ viewing,” added Malik.
Underlining the market appeal of OSN Play – the region’s first online TV platform – around 38 per cent of respondents said they prefer to watch TV on-the-go and at their convenience. Over 14 per cent said it was essential that they watch their favourite programmes online or on smartphones.