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Who is still watching TV?

You would think, perhaps, from the press that everyone is bingeing Box Sets on Netflix, viewing Amazon Prime Video, or streaming cat and dogs on Youtube? But people are still watching TV

Who?  Photograph: BNB
Who? Photograph: BNB
published on UK Free TV

People are still watching channels with ads

Here’s some data from the people who sell the idea of TV adverts, Thinkbox [1].  This graphic shows – to June this year – how many TV adverts people watch per day.    The sizes of the circles show the number of people in the UK in each of the categories.

If you’re not familiar with the scheme, ABC1 means “middle class” and C2D2 means “everyone else”.  


The data can also be broken down to the number of adverts per hour watched by each of these groupings of people. 



People are still watching (BBC) channels without ads

The following graph shows the viewing of the BBC television channels over the last 25 years.   The red line is the average over a 52-week period.   I’ve marked in the Directors General over the time on the graph.     It is clear that the BBC has the share of all viewing has grown this century after falling back in the 1990s. 



Some people are not watching TV any more

Overall, only 14% of TV watching is recorded.   But that rises to 22% for younger women and 20% for kids.    Adding in the current figures to the longer term trend sees a small overall decline (206 minutes a day), a huge decline for young adults (down to 125 minutes) and kids just 85 minutes.


Which catagoery do you and your family find yourself if?   Let me know below in the comments. 



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Tuesday, 31 October 2017
5:45 PM

We only watch live TV on add free BBC channels.
We record everything else, so we can skip through the adds - less painful.

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Perry525's 3 posts GB flag
6:43 PM

As above.
Actually we watch more BBC on iPlayer now. We can't use ITV player because they don't allow you to fast-forward through the adverts.
What we try to do is go through a TV guide at the beginning of the week, pick out the programmes on all channels we're likely to want to watch and set to record them. We generally only turn the TV on, if we're in, after 8pm, then watch 2 hours up to the news. We only get through the news if it's really interesting but personally I like to see the local weather. Then it's Kindle time upstairs!
I'd say 50% of what we record gets deleted unwatched. We do also indulge some box-sets on Amazon, Foyle's War etc. I use our Amazon subscription more for the music.

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Ben's 1 post GB flag

9:29 PM

Ben: Nothing is free, hence the reason why you can fast forward through the ads on ITV or C4 catchup. Ads pay for the programme, whether it be a live, recorded or streaming programme,

It is, of course, one of the reasons why the BBC is so popular - no ads. And its not something you need in the middle of Blue Planet II.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Sunday, 5 November 2017
11:51 PM

We watch most stuff recorded, except for Corrie usually and footy when I get the chance. As for the adverts, I usually skip through them either 30x on Sky+ or 4 presses on the 60 skip when watching on the freeview recorder usually does the trick.

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Robert's 4 posts GB flag
Friday, 23 March 2018
10:51 PM

Already 2 weeks tv cable produces only 4 programs, not signal.
What happened?
Can it be restored?

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Inguna's 1 post GB flag
Inguna's: mapI's Freeview map terrainI's terrain plot wavesI's frequency data I's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Monday, 6 August 2018

3:48 PM

As usual, the media get it wrong. Most people still watch live TV, especially for news, weather forecasts, sports, etc. Some use streaming services for entertainment but they are still a minority. A few may download 'box sets' but the majority want and rely upon live broadcasts.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 7 August 2018

5:03 PM

MikeP: Agreed - watching a live match or rolling news on catchup is largely pointless. One problem is that many people in the media tend to have enough income and live urbanly to allow them to stream X, Y and Z.

But most people do a mixture of watching live, playing back recordings, watching discs, or streaming.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Trevor Jones
7:34 AM

Only "Live" TV I watch is Football, and the News, No Free-view signal where I live so Satellite more or less a must.
99% of all homes in the valley have Sky (Rhondda South Wales)
Apart from Sport/News I record everything else I want to watch, + a bit of streaming from Netflix,
Netflix & YouTube being the only source of 4K content.

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Trevor Jones's 1 post GB flag
Saturday, 9 March 2019
Allan Moore
11:10 AM

I am in the over 65+ group, and watch freeview and some freesat just about all the time.LIVE.
My wife records programs as she has a busy social life.

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Allan Moore's 2 posts GB flag

9:06 PM

My wife and I use Freeview, Freesat and Sky most of the time. We don't watch any football at all but I am interested in Formula 1, but even that is not available live much these days. We mostly watch live but when programmes clash we record one and watch one live, then watch the recorded programme.

We also have Amazon Prime and we like some of the films they show - but very selectively. Those are the onl;y things we stream to watch.

I used to be a TV engineer since 1969, before that I worked for Philips in their Croydon factory. I am also a contributor to this website to help people having reception problems.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
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