TV viewing on the increase, IPA report says

The IPA's third-quarter TV Trends report shows viewing is at its highest level for 14 years, with people in the UK watching an average of 3.46 hours of television every day.

The report also notes that the share of viewers watching terrestrial channels dropped to 73.1 per cent. This figure has continued to fall for the past few periods, from 77.4 per cent in 2002. Meanwhile, non-terrestrial viewing rose to 26.9 per cent, driven largely by the success of Freeview.

The number of digital homes rose by almost 10 per cent from last year.

Digital TV now takes a 51 per cent share of the market.

The number of digital homes stands at well over 12 million and, for the first time, has overtaken the number of homes with analogue TV. The rate of digital take-up will need to increase even faster, however, if the Government is to achieve its 2012 target date for the switch-off of the analogue TV signal.

ITV recorded its worst performance in years, with a share of 21 per cent, down 2.2 per cent on last year. BBC1 and BBC2 saw their audience shares (standing at 25.4 and 9.8 per cent respectively) boosted by their coverage of the Olympic Games during the second half of August.

Channel 4 enjoyed a slight increase in share from 10.1 per cent to 10.5 per cent, while five was down marginally to a 6.4 per cent share.

Demographically, channels retained their patterns of the past few years.

The key feature of this section was the strong bias of younger viewers towards non-terrestrial TV. The report showed that almost as many children (47.3 per cent) watched non-terrestrial channels as watched terrestrial TV (52.7 per cent).