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UK Still Tops for Catch-Up TV Viewing

Their continental contemporaries still more likely to watch TV live

January 9, 2017 | Video

A recent study of TV viewing habits among adult internet users in six countries in Western Europe found viewers in the UK were the most likely to watch catch-up or on-demand TV, and the least likely to tune to live TV programming.

TV/Film and Video Content Viewed by Internet Users in Select Countries in Western Europe, by Method, Oct 2016 (% of respondents)

According to October 2016 data from the Office of Communications (Ofcom), just 60% of UK respondents said they watched TV or films live on free-to-access channels, a rate lower than the two-thirds to three-quarters of respondents in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden who said the same. Conversely, higher shares of UK respondents watched free-to-access catch-up or on-demand TV or films (61%) and recorded TV or films (51%) than did their continental contemporaries.

Ofcom’s 2016 figures echo the findings of the 2015 version of the same report, which also found the UK with the largest share of internet users (44%) who watched free-to-access broadcaster catch-up TV services. The main difference is that usage had grown, both in the UK and in the other countries studied, in the time between studies.

So, while internet users across Western Europe are watching more TV via free catch-up services, UK users are still the most likely to do so.

—Ben Clague

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