Page last updated at 00:06 GMT, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 01:06 UK

'Hard-up Britons watching more TV', industry body says

Kids watching TV
Britons spend about four hours and 18 minutes watching TV every day

TV viewers in the UK are watching more than four hours of programmes every day, the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (Barb) has said.

It said figures from January to March 2010 showed people watched, on average, four hours and 18 minutes daily, up from three hours, 56 minutes in 2009.

Two-thirds of those hours were spent watching commercial channels, it said.

Commercial TV marketing body Thinkbox said the rise was partly down to cash-strapped Britons staying at home.

A spokesman said 93.9% of households now had digital television - which meant viewers had a greater choice of channels - and almost half (44%) now had digital TV recorders.

The Barb figures only included shows viewed while they were being broadcast or recordings watched - without fast-forwarding - within seven days.

'Nearing the peak'

They equate to the average viewer spending a day and a quarter of every week watching TV.

The number of daily advertisements the average viewer watched also rose from 45 to 48.

Thinkbox chief executive Tess Alps said: "Anyone who doubted the continuing importance and popularity of broadcast TV in the UK should hopefully be convinced by these new figures.

"However, record levels are unlikely to continue. We are nearing the peak, if we are not there already.

"Once analogue signals are finally turned off in 2012, the figures are likely to stabilise, but hopefully will remain at these high levels."



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