Ofcom reveals falls in TV viewers and ad revenues

Overall television reach has declined in the two years to December 2005, according to figures published this week by media watchdog Ofcom.

Its interim communications market report also reveals that total TV advertising revenues in quarters two and three last year declined by 1% compared to the same two quarters in 2004. Net revenues were &£789m in quarter three, down from a peak of &£926m in late 2004. Satellite channels were the only channels to show signs of growth during the period, but also declined in quarter three and ended the year at &£177m.

The regulator also details the biggest fall in TV reach – defined as at least 15 minutes of consecutive viewing in a week – is among younger people. It fell by 2.9% for 16- to 24-year-olds in the two years from December 2003 and by 2.5% for the 25 to 34 age group.

ITV1 experienced the greatest single-channel decline in reach in multichannel homes, falling 3.6% during 2005, with BBC Two being the only terrestrial channel to increase its reach in the same sector. In contrast, the reach of multichannel TV grew to 60.1% in December 2005 with audience share growing to 30.8%.

Ofcom’s report also details changes in the telecom and radio industries. It says the highly competitive consumer broadband market has grown from nothing to 10 million connections in just over seven years. Mobile revenues grew by 16% to &£13.6bn in the year to 30 September 2005 in stark contrast to domestic and business fixed-line services, where revenues fell 9% to &£10.3bn .

In radio, the share of all listening via digital platforms almost doubled to 10.5% during August and September 2005, up from 5.9% over the same period a year earlier.

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