Fewer Brits Watch TV: IPA

15 February 2002

Britain’s Institute of Practitioners in Advertising on Thursday published its latest Trends in Television report covering the fourth quarter of 2001. The new data continues the downward trend in total viewing recorded in previous quarters.

Comments IPA research director Lynne Robinson: “This report reflects the fall in recorded viewing levels for all television in general and ITV in particular throughout 2001. This downward trend is continued in the data produced by the new BARB panel which commenced on the 1st of January 2002.”

Average recorded daily hours of viewing continue to fall for all television. Within this declining market, ITV’s share of viewing has remained static whereas that of BBC1 rose by one whole point – helped considerably by a very strong share (31.2%) in the Christmas week. But ITV's share of viewing remains above that of BBC1 in the important peak period; and its performance among the 16-24 age group is one of the best recorded in the IPA Trends series.

Non-terrestrial channels continue to hold a share in excess of 20%, taking over a third of commercial viewing; although the demographic patterns of viewing are much as they have been for some time.

Patronage for all the major channels continues to decline, whilst the non-terrestrial channels have increased viewing levels to the point where they collectively achieve an average weekly patronage of around 40% compared with 31% two years ago. Channel Five’s patronage, however, appears to have reached a plateau.

Data sourced from: IPA Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff