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Commercial TV delivers strong start to 2009

Commercial TV delivers strong start to 2009

Commercial TV maintained the record viewing levels it set last year in the first quarter of 2009 – and increased its share of total broadcast TV, according to figures from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB).

The average person in the UK watched 17 hours, 24 minutes of commercial TV a week during January to March. Commercial TV’s share of total broadcast TV now stands at 63.5%, up 1.1%.

Total broadcast TV viewing, including BBC channels, remained stable year on year at 27 hours, 24 minutes a week.

Tess Alps, chief executive of commercial TV marketing body Thinkbox said it had been a “first class” Q1 for commercial TV viewing. “This is good news for advertisers and a public vote of confidence in commercial broadcasting,” she said.

“TV viewing to keep growing indefinitely. But its continued strength together with the increasing popularity of watching TV via the internet, which is in addition to these BARB figures, proves that TV as a medium is enjoying an unprecedented popularity which shows no sign of flagging.”

The continued strength of commercial broadcast TV viewing comes as on-demand TV viewing - not currently measured by BARB - continues to expand rapidly with an explosion in viewing via web services, such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD, Demand Five and Sky Player, and IPTV platforms, such as Virgin Media and BT Vision.

Thinkbox research has shown that more than two thirds of broadband users access TV in this way, with 78% of online TV viewing used to catch-up with broadcast TV. BARB’s figures also show that commercial impacts – the number of ads watched at normal speed – were up 2% on same quarter last year and 16% over the last five years.

All key audiences for advertisers experienced increases in commercial impacts in the first quarter. Impacts for ABC1s and 16-34s were up 2%, and impacts for men were up 3%.

The growth in commercial viewing and impacts delivers better value to advertisers, who can currently buy TV advertising at 1980s’ prices in real terms.

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