Britons still prefer to watch television live – on their TVs

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As our “second” screens get smaller while our TV screens get larger, it seems that the old adage that “bigger is better” just might hold true.


Some new research has shown that despite the growth in watching television via a PC, tablet or smartphone, 90 per cent of viewers still regularly use the TV to watch their content live – with 85 per cent also saying that the TV is their preferred screen.

The research from BroadStream Solutions, which polled a sample of the UK population in conjunction with YouGov, also found that 83 per cent of Brits still use the television as a social hub for the household, opting to all watch in the same room – just the way people did back in the “good old ddays” before the rise of new-fangled gadgets such as video games, mobile phones and the internet.

Just under a quarter of the 2,200 people surveyed said they did occasionally use a second screen – such as smartphone or tablet – to watch TV.

Almost 90 percent said that they preferred to watch sports coverage live, rather than on catch-up (so that the result was not spoiled for them), while 81 per cent said that programmes succh as Britain’s Got Talent, The Voice or X Factor should be watched live.

About 20 per cent of consumers also said that they had not used any type of on-demand service in the past year. Despite this, the research discovered that use of VoD players such as the BBC iPlayer or 4oD have more than trebled in use over the last decade, from 16 per cent to 57 per cent of consumers.

“The range of services now available to consumers certainly gives them the opportunity to consume TV content in new ways, but the focal point of the living room is increasingly becoming the TV once again,” said BroadStream Solutions chief executive Mark Errington.

“It is traditional ‘live’ TVthat continues to be the cornerstone of any broadcaster’s service, offering the viewer a constant reference point throughout their viewing experience. We also can’t forget that news, sport, and entertainment are all areas that people still want to watch in real-time, whether it’s in order to vote on X Factor or watch their favourite football team, these are events that simply don’t have the same impact when recorded.”

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