LONDON: The average British viewer last year spent 48 minutes longer watching television each week than in 2007, and saw a total of forty-two TV ads daily, reports a study published by industry marketing body, Thinkbox.

According to Thinbox's figures, which are based on data from industry measurement body BARB, the average British viewer watched 26 hours and 18 minutes of broadcast television a week in 2008.

This total matches the previous record posted in 2003, and means the total number of "commercial impacts" – namely, the number of people watching ads at normal speed – rose 6.3% to 2.4 billion.

All age groups registered an increase in the amount of time they spent watching TV in 2008, while digital video recorders were also attributed with driving a 17% uplift in viewing time.

Broadcast television took 63% of all viewing hours, with individuals watching over 16 hours of commercial TV each week, up 36 minutes on 2007.

Thinkbox suggests that watching broadcast content on the web supplements, rather than replaces, the traditional equivalent, as 78% of online playback results from people missing a show on TV.

Says Tess Alps, Thinkbox's chief executive: "The broadcast audience may not always be watching the same programme at the same time as it did when there were a handful of channels ... but viewers haven't gone anywhere."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff