A new report from Ofcom says UK Public Service Broadcasters (PSB) spent £2.6 billion on new programmes in 2016, increasing spending on factual, sports and children’s programmes.
According to Ofcom's Public Service Broadcasting Annual Research Report for 2016, spending on comedy programmes is now at its lowest level in ten years.
The report also found that viewing of the five main PSB channels in the UK accounted for 51 per cent of all broadcast TV viewing, unchanged from the previous year.
However, viewers are spending less time per day watching TV on a TV set, three hours and 32 minutes, down by four minutes compared to 2015.
Viewers aged 65+ watched an average of five hours 44 minutes in 2016, three minutes less than in 2012; in contrast, 16-24 year olds watched an average of one hour 54 minutes in 2016, 43 minutes less than in 2012. Between 2015 and 2016, average daily viewing among children and 16-24 year olds each fell by ten minutes, whereas viewing by over-64s increased by two minutes.
Ofcom says UK audiences continue to watch and value PSBs, with 78 per cent of viewers saying they were satisfied or very satisfied with their programmes - up five percentage points. More than 83 per cent of people aged over four watched any of the main five PSB channels in a typical week.