Belfast Telegraph

TV viewing 'more popular than ever'

People in Northern Ireland watched more than four and a half hours of television a day in 2010.

A survey showed that the older we are, the more TV we tend to watch, and the amount we watch is increasing.

In Northern Ireland people viewed more than the UK average, the TeleScope study by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB) said.

A spokesman for the researchers said: "The findings are among many in the report which demonstrate the increasing importance of the nation's love affair with television. TeleScope shows that love is growing and evolving - not just in terms of how much and what we watch, but how, when and where we watch it."

People in Northern Ireland had a much earlier prime time than their counterparts across the UK, with 15% claiming 6-7pm to be prime time compared with 4% in North East and South West England.

Northern Ireland people also enjoy the smallest percentage of TV dinners with 48% claiming to eat dinner in front of the television compared with 69% in the South East. However, snacks before bed in front of the TV were much more popular in Northern Ireland with 42% likely to eat while watching TV at night compared with 25% in the South East.

Northern Ireland is among the regions where people are least likely to watch television together as a family in one room with 58% doing so compared with 67% in the Midlands.

Some 21% of respondents in Northern Ireland said they regularly watched television alone in separate rooms compared with 10% in the South West.

Deborah King, spokeswoman for TV Licensing, said: "This report reflects Northern Ireland's passion for television and shows that TV viewing in Northern Ireland is more popular than ever.

"Although there have been many developments in this unique medium for entertainment, education and information over the last 20 years, one thing remains the same - TV continues to be an extremely important part of everyday life in Northern Ireland."

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