Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

'More TV watched but fewer sets'

Entertainment, children's and factual programmes are among the most popular in Northern Ireland

Households in Northern Ireland have fewer televisions than a decade ago but people are watching more than ever, a report has found.

Viewers are now said to take in an average four hours and two minutes of TV a week, compared with three-and-a-half hours six years ago.

Entertainment, children's and factual programmes are among the most popular.

The findings are compiled in a BBC report tracking TV trends across the UK to identify habit changes and how viewers respond to new technology.

Pipa Doubtfire, head of revenue management at BBC TV Licensing which commissioned the report, said: "TeleScope 2013 looks at our emotional connections to the programmes we love, how our favourite TV programmes make us happy and our love for TV.

"In the three years we've been producing the TeleScope report, we've witnessed remarkable changes in the way viewers consume their favourite TV programmes. This year we launched the TeleHappiness Index to capture the nation's emotional responses and our evolving relationship with TV."

Across the UK an estimated 455 million hours of TV have been recorded and saved on digi-boxes, the equivalent to 52,000 years' worth of TV.

Social media has also helped viewers interact during their favourite shows, with 40% of all tweets between 6.30pm and 10pm about TV.

Although mobile phones, laptops and tablet computers were utilised as an alternative to the typical family set, more than a third of the TV market value last year derived from the sale of 3D screens. Sales of jumbo-sized screens (43 inches or more) were also up 10% over the past 12 months.

Dr Mark Williamson, director of Action for Happiness, a movement for positive social change, said: "Certain programming, notably comedy and entertainment, can significantly boost our mood. But television also brings challenges for our well-being, particularly for those who spend an above-average number of hours watching. We could all benefit from more programmes that not only boost our own TeleHappiness but also help us to see the good in the world and inspire us to contribute to it."

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