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Monday 22 September 2014

Republic of telly addicts – over three hours a day in front of TV

Published 05/07/2014 | 02:30

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Irish people are spending an average of three hours per day watching TV. Photo: Getty Images.
Irish people are spending an average of three hours per day watching TV. Photo: Getty Images.

IRISH people are spending an average of three hours and 32 minutes a day sitting in front of TV sets.

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This is an increase of 14 minutes when compared to 2012 figures.

But despite the increasing popularity of on-demand viewing services provided by Netflix, Sky and UPC, 92pc of what Irish people watch is live.

A new study from TAM Ireland – Television Audience Measurement Ireland – showed that programmes such as 'The Late Late Show', 'The Eurovision Song Contest' and 'The Sunday Game Live' are attracting high audiences.

Watching TV is, for the majority of the country, a shared experience with 47pc of viewers settling down on the sofa with a partner, family member or friend by their side.

While tablets and smartphones may enhance our viewing experience, 80pc of us prefer sitting in front of an old reliable gogglebox, with just 5.5pc watching TV on a laptop, 3pc on a mobile phone and 1.6pc on a tablet.

And when it comes to TV sets size really does matter. In 2011 400,000 households had a TV screen size of 40 inches or more; two years on that figure has grown to 629,000 households.

A significant number of viewers like to multi-task, following TV content across multiple devices such as social networking site twitter.

"The power of TV to drive conversations used to be limited to the water cooler and dinner table," CEO of TAM Ireland said.

"But it has now spread its net far wider through social media. "Television drives conversations – if you're not watching a programme as it is broadcast you're missing out on the conversation".

Sunday is the day of the week we spend most time lounging in front of the television set and 9pm is the peak viewing time for all content regardless of format.

This explains why the advertising and programming schedule after the Nine O'Clock News is such a coveted spot.

It also explains in part why programmes such as 'The Voice of Ireland' and 'Love/ Hate', receive such high ratings.

Last week, TAM Ireland launched TAMvision which will measure all forms of viewing across all devices by 2017.

David Puttnam launched the initiative and said today's viewers had "a cornucopia of choice".

The measurement period for this part of the study was from January to May this year and so excludes the World Cup which may have influenced these figures significantly.

Irish Independent

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