Commercial TV viewing has had a record first six months of 2009, with weekly viewing and the number of ads people watched rising compared to the same period last year.
The latest figures from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board, released by TV marketing body Thinkbox, reveals that the average UK viewer watched 16.7 hours of commercial TV a week.
This was up 9.9 minutes a week on the record set in the same period last year. This is also up 42 minutes a week on the representative five-year average for January to June.
High rating programmes included Dancing on Ice, Britain’s Got Talent – in which Susan Boyle (pictured) was runner up – Coronation Street and the UEFA Champions League final.
The increase in commercial viewing has also meant a rise in the number of ads people watch.
According to BARB, the number of ads watched at normal speed was up 2% on the same period last year and up 16% over the last five years, with the average viewer watching 43 ads a day.
MPG broadcast director Chris Allen says the BARB findings show the TV industry is in “good health”. “Commercial TV is being consumed in unprecedented numbers, and this greater volume of impacts means that advertisers can benefit from the exceptional value for money which it offers,” he says.
Thinkbox chief executive Tess Alps adds that new TV technologies, such as digital recorders and HD are helping to enhance the TV viewing experience.
ITV is due to unveil half-year results on Thursday (6 August).