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TV sets remain “first port of call” as commercial TV rises

22 August 2016
TV sets remain “first port of call” as commercial TV rises

TV channels in the UK enjoyed a strong beginning to 2016, according to the latest Thinkbox report.

UK figures for the first half of the year show that average commercial TV viewing on a TV set increased to two hours and 24 minutes per day – an increase of one minute on the same period in 2015 and seven minutes more a day than a decade ago.

Total TV viewing (including BBC channels) decreased slightly year on year to three hours, 34 minutes per day – dropping two minutes per day.

According to Thinkbox, it is likely that the closure of BBC Three’s broadcast TV channel in February is partly responsible for a dip in BBC TV viewing and commercial TV’s strong performance – in particular the viewing of 16-34s.

According to BBC Q2 figures, broadcast TV viewing has dropped by 8 per cent, compared with the same period last year. The drop is more pronounced among 16-34s – BBC Three’s core audience – for whom viewing dropped by 18 per cent.

With iPlayer viewing flat across the same period as reported in the latest iPlayer performance pack, it appears that the BBC has lost the viewing BBC Three previously provided.

Matt Hill, research and planning director, Thinkbox, said, “TV is thriving on all screens, but the importance of TV channels on TV sets cannot be overlooked. They remain the first port of call for the majority of people of all ages.

“The apparent boost that commercial TV has received from BBC Three’s disappearance from the schedules underlines this fact – a strategy that is in stark contrast to the imminent arrival of Viceland on commercial TV.

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