Friday 20 September 2019

Under-30s watching family TV at home, says Channel 4 executive

Ian Katz says it is ‘perhaps the only good thing about rising property prices’ as more people are not leaving home until they are 30.

Channel 4 Television Headquarters
Channel 4 Television Headquarters

By Helen William, Press Association

A strange quirk of Britain’s high-cost housing is that younger people are watching family television shows, according to Channel 4’s director of programmes.

Ian Katz told the Voice of the Listener & Viewer (VLV) autumn conference in central London: “One of the best things, perhaps the only good thing, about the rising property prices is that lots of young people are not leaving home until they are 30, and as a result are sitting at home watching family TV between 8pm and 10pm.”

He described it as “a really interesting opportunity and a challenge for us”.

Mr Katz said he was struck by the situation after research which involved sitting down with viewers and asking them what they were watching.

He noted that a lot of younger viewers have streaming services like Netflix “as a baseline”, but they “sit down and watch telly with their parents between 8pm and 10pm”.

He also suggested that people are attaching more value to current affairs in a world of fake news and that public service broadcasters (PSBs) are “coming back into fashion”.

He said: “If you look back at the year we have had you see a real powerful reminder of the value of PSB news, all the way from Cambridge Analytica, which you would not get out of any other news environment… to the BBC’s coverage of Brexit.

“If you look at this year and the way in which we were reminded of the joy of these huge communal moments like the World Cup, Bodyguard, Bake Off and Love Island – which I wish were on my channel – you are reminded of these moments that are sort of part of the glue that sticks a society together.”

He said it is something “streamers cannot deliver and people love and value”.

PA Media

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