TV watching at all time high

Average time spent watching television is now at its highest level recorded since the start of the current BARB panel in 2002. The latest data from the Institute of Practitioners shows that average viewing is up to 3.54 hours a day from 3.38 hours year-on-year.

The IPA Trends in Television Viewing Report for the third quarter shows that appeal of non-terrestrial channels continues to grow and digital and satellite channels now account for nearly a 40% share of viewing, while the terrestrial commercial channels continue to slide.

ITV1 and GMTV’s share dropped to 17.2% for third quarter from 18.8% in the previous quarter. Year-on-year ITV1 is down from 18.8% share despite the repeated success of shows such as The X Factor.

ITV1’s share of commercial impacts (one person watching one advertisement a single time) is down to 27.6% from 29.9% last quarter and from 30.9% year-on-year.

The whole ITV family of channels, including the digital offerings, has also seen share of audience shrink quarter-on-quarter to 21.9% from 23.6%. Year-on-year its share is down from 23.1%. However, the digital channels, including ITV 2, ITV 3 and Men & Motors, are up to 8.1% from 7.8%.

Five, now under the leadership of chief executive Dawn Airey, slipped from 5% to 4.8% and year on year is down from 5.1%. It share including its digital channels rises to 5.9% share of audience, while its share of commercial impacts dropped from 10.5% to 10.1%.

Channel 4, currently grappling with funding issues, dropped to 7.4% from 7.8% cent and is down from 8.5% year-on-year. However, the Channel 4 family saw share rise slightly to 11.8% quarter on quarter and a slight drop year on year. The family share of commercial impacts also rose from 18.8% to 19.6%.

All Sky branded channels rose quarter on quarter from 5.7% to 6% and are nearly flat year-on-year. Commercial impacts jumped from 12.3% to 12.7% and they are up significantly year-on-year from 9.7%.

Sales house IDS, representing the UKTV channels among others, saw share rise from 10.7% to 11% and is also up year-on-year.

BBC1 has seen its share rise from 21.7% to 22.3% and is almost flat year-on-year while BBC2 is flat quarter on quarter but down year-on-year.

BBC channels in total, including digital services, saw share rise both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year to 34.1%.

Research director for the IPA Lynne Robinson says: “This is another good quarter for television, with year-on-year viewing levels recording another healthy growth. Digital reception now stands at 83.2%, which hopefully will minimise the disruption caused by the ongoing digital switchover.”

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