OFCOM’s Communications Market Report found that the amount of time spent watching television has gone up.
UK viewers spent an average of four hours a day watching TV in 2011, which was up 3.6 hours from 2002. They also found that in the fist quarter of 2012, more than 35% of television sets sold were at least 33 inches in size.
James Thickett, Ofcom’s director of research, said that the new wave of larger and flatter TV screens seemed to be bringing children back into watching television in the living room, rather than watching on the smaller screens in their bedrooms.
He said, “Television viewing has been robust between 2002 and 2011,’ he said. ‘What’s interesting here is that with all these new technologies being adopted by 16 to 24-year-olds and to some extent children, we’re not seeing TV viewing among those age groups falling. It’s always been lower than average for the younger age groups because they have different lifestyles and less time at home. But we’re not seeing a major impact on TV viewing by all this extra adoption and use of new technology. At the same time we are seeing an increase in viewing among the older age groups.”
Last year 40% of households only had one television in their homes compared to 35% in 2002 while in 2011, 209 minutes were watching on their main TV compared with 187 minutes in 2002.
Thickett added, “One of the things that has helped drive strong TV viewing figures is the evolution of television technology. In the past 10 years we have seen the development of widescreen television, HD television, screens getting flatter and very importantly screens are getting bigger…What this is doing is actually bringing people back into the living room and television is taking on a new role as a family experience whereas 10 years ago, in the early 2000s, we were seeing kids, different members of the family watching different television shows in different rooms using different sets. The quality of the TV viewing experience has improved, the choice of channels has improved. We’ve now got new technologies like digital video recorders that are improving the television experience. We believe that has all helped to maintain television viewing at around four hours a day.”
We don’t think it’s so much the fact that bigger screens make you want to watch more TV, but there is no denying the fact that they give you a much better experience.
As well as this, HD television has become much more prevalent on TV channels and to be honest we think HD has a lot to answer for in the TV world in keeping us glued to our screens. The fact that you can see so much depth and detail in most HD programmes is an obvious reason for watching more TV. Also, the fact that television programmes are so accessible on other devices like a laptop to a tablet or mobile device means that in families where different members want to watch different programmes, it’s not necessary to go off and watch TV in your room anymore, all you need to do is log on to the computer or your mobile app.
The fact that television has expanded in this way means that it’s not as likely that each household is going to have a lot of television screen around their houses anymore. When I was younger we had about 4 televisions in our house, now we only have two.