UK TV Viewing Figures Fall

20 September 2005

The latest Trends in TV report, published by the UK's Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, shows that television viewing figures have continued to fall for the third quarter in a row.

Average daily hours of viewing across all TV in the UK was 3.45 hours, compared to 3.50 hours for Q2 2004, the lowest Q2 figures for eight years.

  • Q2 2005 saw the state-funded broadcaster's BBC1 channel's share of viewers fall to 23.8%, compared to 24.8% for Q2 2004. For the same period BBC2's share fell to 9.6% from 9.7%. The UK's biggest commercial broadcaster, ITV saw its flagship channel's ITV1 share fall to 20.9% from 22.5%. The state-owned but commercially funded Channel 4 saw viewer share fall to 9.7% from 10.1% and commercial channel Five to 6.7% from 6.9%.

  • The non-terrestrial channels continue to gain share, now standing at 29.3% of all television viewing, increasing from their 26% share for Q2 2004.

  • The non-terrestrial gain in share has been almost exclusively at the expense of ITV which has recorded its lowest ever share of television viewing at 20.9%.

  • Digital terrestrial reception remains the fastest growing platform.

  • Under 16s continue to favour non-terrestrial channels, watching 48.7% of their TV in this way, nearly 10% more than any other group.

    Says IPA research director Lynne Robinson: "These viewing levels are disappointing for television overall and ITV in particular."

    Data sourced from IPA; additional content by WARC staff