Live sports and tablet screens are turning Brits into a nation of ‘programme packers’ who watch two or more TV shows at the same time.
A survey by TV Licensing found that half of people asked said they had watched sport on a smartphone or tablet while watching something else on their TV.
Programme packing or ‘screen stacking’ have risen alongside an 84 per cent increase in household tablet ownership, and the increase in live sports shown over the summer.
Stephen Farmer, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said: “In days gone by you would have had to make a decision; which event to watch live and which to record to watch later in the hope you didn’t see the result beforehand.
“But with nearly half the population now owning a tablet and nearly two thirds owning smartphones according to Ofcom’s Communications Market Report, watching two live programmes simultaneously is easy.”
It would seem men are better than women when it comes to watching more than one programme at once too.
Nearly one in five men, and but just one in 10 women, said they had watched two live TV programmes at once over the last year.
Only three per cent of the total population have tried ‘triple-stacking’, but that doubled for multitasking 18-24 year-olds, who can easily absorb Hollyoaks, Made In Chelsea and Celebrity Juice while tweeting.
The survey, conducted by YouGov for TV Licensing says that much of this is down to the public watching content on their tablets rather than just sticking to the traditional TV.
Live TV was the most popular kind of media watched on TV sets at 89 per cent, with the remaining 11 per cent opting to watch time-shifted programmes, either via TV catch-up services or recorded using a DVR or integrated recording service.
Only 15 per cent of people watched live TV on a tablet and 29 per cent on a smartphone, suggesting people were more likely to watch catch-up TV on those devices.
The report said that although the popularity of using video on demand services has increased, it still considerably lags behind live TV.