Viewing Habit

Topics: Television, Internet television, BBC Pages: 26 (5977 words) Published: February 9, 2013

Foreword / Executive summary / How? / What? / When? / Where? / What next? / References

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A focus on the nation’s viewing habits from TV Licensing


Foreword / Executive summary / How? / What? / When? / Where? / What next? / References

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Television today creates an environment which is largely imperceptible for the simple reason that we are so immersed in it. This report from TV Licensing, which I am pleased to introduce, makes us aware of this environment by asking the right questions, dividing television into parts to help us understand “what is going on”. For me, television has three main components; its technology, its content, and its effects as a medium. When my grandfather John Logie Baird famously unveiled the world’s first working television system in early 1926, people were astonished. Although cinema and radio were established by 1926, television still seemed like science fiction. Since that giant leap, technology has never stopped advancing and today we are witnessing faster developments than ever before. The part of the television industry which makes programmes has found itself in a radically different situation from that of 10 or 20 years ago. Because of new technology and altered business models, this has meant the decline of some programme formats while evoking new ones. A few formats are experiencing a resurgence of popularity. One which comes to mind is “the talent show”, but the main change has been that there are far fewer technical restrictions, and therefore a considerably greater choice of programmes to watch overall. The medium of television has changed too. In profound ways, television builds collective identities via mass amplification of experience and memory, while influencing individual creativity. It invites us into other worlds so that we may escape the hectic pace of our own. It expands our understanding of the world stage and the roles we can play in it. There is no question television is playing a more central role in our lives than ever. Iain Logie Baird Curator of Television at the National Media Museum


Foreword / Executive summary / How? / What? / When? / Where? / What next? / References

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Executive summary
How are we watching? What are we watching? When are we watching? Where are we watching? We’re watching more TV than ever and in more ways than ever before – a growth fuelled not just by the emergence of catch-up TV, but by a peculiarly British passion for having the biggest and best TV sets. TV sales have risen over recent years, and we’ve bought far more than our European neighbours: 43m flat screen TV sets were sold in Britain between 2004 and 2010, compared to 28m in Germany and 27m in France. ‘Catch-up’ TV services such as the BBC iPlayer are growing in popularity as the number of platforms they can be accessed from increases – with iPad and Android apps the latest new ways to watch. With these developments, the definition of the TV schedule is starting to blur. Although it has been delayed until next year, could YouView, the set top box that promises to “change the way you watch TV forever”, further transform our viewing habits?

Catch-up TV may be redefining the TV schedule, but some programmes will always pull in a big ‘live’ audience. The X Factor final was the most watched show in 2010, with 17.7m viewers. In previous years, the chart-toppers have included major episodes of our favourite soaps, Eastenders and Coronation Street, Christmas specials of our favourite comedies such as Only Fools and Horses, and the big football games at the World Cup or European Championships. They share one thing in common: the ability to get the nation talking. And with 3bn worldwide predicted to tune in to witness Prince William and Kate Middleton marry on April 29, could the top spot on the most-watched list for 2011 already be secured?

Having bought more TV sets, we’re making the most of them,...
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