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We watch more television but have fewer sets, report finds

People in the UK watch more television but have fewer TV sets compared with ten years ago.

In 2003 there were 2.03 television sets per UK household but this has fallen to 1.83 sets by 2012, according to a report carried out by the TV Licencing Authority.

The average number of hours UK viewers spend glued to the TV each day has increased from three hours and 36 minutes in 2006 to four hours and two minutes. Entertainment, children’s and factual programmes are among the most popular.

Credit: Oxyman

The report said that the increase in viewing was down to people being more likely to watch TV on PC, tablets and smartphones. Figures show that 27 per cent of smartphone users and 63 per cent of tablet owners watch live television on their devices. The average household has 2.3 TV sets, 1.51 laptops, 0.77 smartphones and 0.33 tablets on which they watch television.

Across the UK an estimated 455 million hours of TV have been recorded and saved on PVRs, but less than one per cent of viewers solely watched catch-up, or “timeshifted”, TV.

Pipa Doubtfire, head of revenue management at BBC TV Licensing which commissioned the report, said: “In the three years we’ve been producing the TeleScope report, we’ve witnessed remarkable changes in the way viewers consume their favourite TV programmes. This year we launched the TeleHappiness Index to capture the nation’s emotional responses and our evolving relationship with TV.”

The research also found that people tweet or text a lot about what they are watching on TV. A quarter of all adults (26 per cent), and just under half (44 per cent) of those aged under 35, say they have commented to others, online, tweeting or via SMS, about a TV programme they have been watching.

“People come to Twitter to connect with what they are most interested in, and that may be a TV show, character, or live event,” said Twitter spokesman Rachel Bremer.

She added: “The public nature of the platform means that people can easily follow and join conversations about what they’re watching in real time, adding to the social experience of television viewing.”

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