U.K. Linear Viewing Remains at Record Level


LONDON: Britons watched 4 hours and 2 minutes of linear TV a day in 2011, matching the record high set in 2010, with the commercial broadcasters accounting for 64 percent of all viewing.

According to Thinkbox, using data from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB), commercial TV channels had an even higher share of all viewing among the 16 to 34 set, with 72 percent. Another key finding is that 90.6 percent of all linear TV is watched live; only 9.4 percent is time shifted. Thinkbox expects that total linear TV viewing levels will now stabilize after a sustained period of record growth.

Thinkbox also reports that the number of commercial impacts—ads watched at normal speed—rose 2.6 percent last year. The average viewer watched 47 ads a day during 2011.

Lindsey Clay, Thinkbox’s managing director, said of the findings, “These figures explain why so many tech companies want to join the TV industry. Many companies are flocking to launch new TV services or social media services that feed off people’s love affair with TV. It is obvious that people want to watch TV programs on the best screen in the home if they can and 2012 will bring more opportunities to do that with the sale of connected TVs and more catch-up TV services to the TV set. And alongside that there is now a wide variety of personal screens to watch TV on which make TV even more convenient; tablets are really delivering an excellent mobile TV experience. TV continues to be the most effective form of advertising there is and the instant responses that second screens enable is making it even more so.”