NEWS: BSkyB audience gains drive up total viewing of commercial TV

Total viewing of commercial TV is on the up, driven by significant audience gains by BSkyB, according to analysis of TV audiences throughout the first quarter of the year.

Total viewing of commercial TV is on the up, driven by significant

audience gains by BSkyB, according to analysis of TV audiences

throughout the first quarter of the year.



Official BARB viewing figures claim that commercial TV viewing grew by 1

per cent in the first three months of this year, despite audience losses

experienced by ITV and Channel 4.



The number of ABC1 adults tuning in to TV programmes grew by 5 per cent

year on year, while audience levels among 16- to 34-year-olds held

steady.



The increases came on the back of a 30 per cent growth in cable and

satellite audiences in the first quarter. Premiership football on Sky

Sports played a significant part in driving audiences, alongside movie

premieres and average audiences of over 1.2 million for Sky One’s X-

Files.



ITV’s share of viewing among all adults, however, was down from 69.3 per

cent to 67.9 per cent so far this year. Channel 4’s share dipped by

around 1 per cent to 19.1 per cent. Cable and satellite’s share of the

adult audience rose from 7.5 per cent to 9.7 per cent.



Simon Cox, the broadcast director of CIA Medianetwork, said the findings

could mean that advertisers tied to large commitments with ITV and

Channel 4 are missing the immediate benefits of the cable and satellite

upturn.



‘With the possible exception of GMTV, I think that cable and satellite

will be the only sectors this year where commercial viewing growth

outstrips advertising revenue growth,’ Cox said.



Total TV ad revenue for the first quarter of the year was up by around 5

per cent. Channel 4’s revenue rose by around 13 per cent according to TV

buyers, while cable and satellite’s revenue was up by around 15 per

cent. ITV was up by 2 per cent, although within London, Carlton’s

revenue is said to have dipped by 1.5 per cent compared with a rise of

more than 13 per cent for LWT.



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