Commercial TV viewing rises with more ads being watched

Increases in commercial TV viewing are helping make the medium’s prospects more appetising to advertisers, according to the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) and marketing body Thinkbox.

Research found that TV viewers in the UK are watching more than four hours of programmes every day.

Figures from January to March 2010 showed people watched, on average, four hours and 18 minutes daily, up from three hours, 56 minutes in 2009. Two-thirds of those hours were spent watching commercial channels.

The number of daily advertisements the average viewer watched also rose from 45 to 48, up 4.9% on the same period last year and 22% over the last five years.

Figures include repeats and on-demand TV viewings and have been boosted by digital television, which 93.9% of households now have. The research estimates 78% of people are now watching on-demand TV.

Thinkbox chief executive Tess Alps says: “Anyone who doubted the continuing importance and popularity of broadcast TV in the UK should hopefully be convinced by these new figures. However, record levels are unlikely to continue. We are nearing the peak, if we are not there already.

“Once analogue signals are finally turned off in 2012, the figures are likely to stabilise, but hopefully will remain at these high levels. Advertisers are taking advantage of the continued growth in commercial TV and its proven ability to deliver profit to the bottom line.”

TV advertising is expected to be boosted by this summer’s World Cup. ITV is set to boost its profits by £20m from the event, and the other commercial broadcasters are set to try and cash in on the interest.

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