Commercial TV impacts rise by 13.5%

Commercial TV impacts for April are up 13.5% on last year, and by 20% over the same period five years ago, according Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) figures.

Thinkbox, the commercial TV marketing body, says the figures show a “flourishing” industry, with all key audiences for advertising showing “major increases” for the month.

The BARB data shows people in the UK watched an average of 2.35 hours of commercial TV a day in April, while total TV viewing – including the BBC channels – was up 10% year on year to 3.75 hours.

Thinkbox says the growth is down to a combination of digital TV penetration, in 87.6% of homes; “compelling” programming, such as ITV1’s Britain’s Got Talent, and poor weather. Tess Alps, Thinkbox chief executive, adds that the figures put paid to the “nonsense” that young people are watching less TV.

The figures do not take account of viewing over mobile phones or internet platforms such as the BBC iPlayer, which has had over 75 million requests to stream or download programmes since launching six months ago, or its commercial online competitors.

It also follows news that broadcast TV viewing enjoyed its best start to the year since 1993, with total commercial TV impacts for the first quarter of 2008 increased 7% on the same period last year (MW April 24).

Thinkbox says that so far this year, the UK has watched an average of 11 minutes more commercial TV a day than over the same period 15 years ago.

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