UK TV Study Comforts Commercial Broadcasters

10 May 2006

Television commercials are apparently alive and well in the UK, despite the increasing use of personal video recorders and their ad-skipping technology.

A study carried out by the country's media regulator, Ofcom, with commercial broadcasters and researchers claims most TV viewing is still live and that viewers pay attention to ads even if they fast-forward through them.

Avers Ofcom strategy manager Mark Bunting: "Broadcasters undoubtedly face many challenges in this highly dynamic market but traditional scheduled TV will be around for a long time yet."

The study used in-home cameras and microphones to measure the TV watched by eight households of varying types.

It found that the "great majority" of viewing in PVR homes is live, in contrast with findings in the US. It also showed that most commercials in time-shifted viewing were fast-forwarded but viewers "continued to pay a high degree of visual attention" and often engaged with the skipped ads.

Full results from the study, together with findings from the US and data measuring PVR usage, will be revealed next month.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff