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BARB: TV set viewing on the rise amid COVID-19

"Approaching the amounts that we usually see over Christmas"

TV set viewing is up 28 minutes a day year-on-year, according to BARB’s What People Watch report.

The study notes increased viewing during the COVID-19 pandemic, reporting that consolidated seven-day TV set viewing for the week ending 22nd March 2020 was 210 minutes a day on average.

This level of three hours and 30 minutes of TV set viewing a day is approaching the amounts that we usually see over Christmas – traditionally the peak period of television viewing,” said BARB.

The report also found growth in viewing of rolling news channels, as well as national news broadcasts on BBC1, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

BARB reported: “On 23rd March at 20:30, Boris Johnson addressed the nation about the coronavirus pandemic and the need for all citizens to stay at home.

“Simulcast across BBC1, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky News and BBC News, the six-minute broadcast drew an average audience of 28.2 million viewers (consolidated 7-day TV set), making it one of the most-watched broadcasts in UK television history.

“Audience share in this slot was over 83 per cent, meaning that four in five people watching television at the time were tuned in to the broadcast.”