TV goes to extra time as viewers tune in for longer

David Puttnam at the TAM Ireland event in Dublin

David Puttnam at the TAM Ireland event in Dublin

Thu, Jul 3, 2014, 01:00

The latest figures from TAM Ireland show that Irish people spend an average of three and half hours watching television every day – an increase of 14 minutes per day since 2012.

And 92 per cent of what we watch is live – showing that, despite the high profile of on-demand viewing options, from Netflix and Sky to the various stations’ playback options, we prefer so far to watch TV as the schedulers dictate.

The measurement period was from January to May this year and so excludes, for example, the Fifa World Cup where extra time, penalty shootouts and endless studio analysis would make three hours look skimpy.

Accurate figures

Sitting in front of the television at home was the preferred choice of 80 per cent of those surveyed,with 5.5 per cent watching on a laptop, 3 per cent on a mobile phone and just 1.6 per cent use a tablet.

When time spent on these other devices is taken into account, the Ipsos MRBI-conducted research found that TV viewing was closer to a massive four hours a day.

And that represents a challenge for TAM in coming up with accurate figures – it’s one thing counting viewers on their sofa, quite another measuring out-of-home viewers catching an episode of their favourite programme on the train commute.

TAM is currently piloting “Extended Screen” measurement which captures viewing on laptops and PCs. The next step is to work with broadcasters to develop tagging solutions to identify content no matter what device or platform is it viewed on.

The figures were launched in Dublin by Lord David Puttnam, the State’s “digital champion” who talked about the viewers’ experience – how audiences want great quality content at a time when broadcasters are operating in a challenging fiscal environment.

World Cup

Meanwhile, Paul Moran at Mediaworks has run Nielsen TV figures to see how GAA viewing is bearing up under the Fifa World Cup hype. And the answer is very well indeed. The coverage on RTÉ of the 12 World Cup matches broadcast last week between Monday 23rd June and Sunday 29th June, attracted an average “live” viewership of 298,140.

When isolating the live coverage of the three GAA Championship matches on RTÉ TV for Sunday 29th June, the average RTÉ “live” viewership was a robust 266,130.

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