Is television viewing in rude health or isn’t it? You decide.

Could Marketing Week please decide if it agrees with all the evidence that normal broadcast TV viewing is in good health or not? In the last issue (6 August), the lead article on page 10 assured readers that commercial TV viewing “had a record first six months of 2009”, according to BARB’s latest figures. This is true and Ofcom’s new Communications Report agrees that broadcast TV is growing.

But then a feature on page 23 casually told us that “media channels like TV are losing viewers” without any evidence to support it whatsoever. This was especially odd given it was in an article about online video – a large portion of which, and certainly the bit advertisers are most interested in, is online TV.

The problem arises not just from settling for myth and not checking the facts, but from trying to define TV as a medium in competition with “the internet”. It isn’t. The internet is a fantastic technology that delivers TV, among many other things. Online TV catch-up services, far from being in competition with broadcast TV, are helping it grow.

Tess Alps
Chief executive

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