Report reveals online TV viewing won’t be driven by faster broadband

The prospect of faster broadband connections will not be the catalyst for increased TV viewing online, according to a new survey by Deloitte and YouGov.

More than half (53 per cent) of the viewers polled said they would not watch more online video content or TV programmes even with a faster and more reliable internet connection. Furthermore, 29 per cent felt there was little importance in being able to watch television using an online service.

In the West Midlands, 55 per cent of those surveyed said they would not watch online video clips and programmes if they had a faster internet connection, while 26 per cent felt that watching television via the internet was not important.

Of those who did watch TV online, the majority (70 per cent) did so to catch up on programmes they had missed on broadcast television, with 25 per cent logging on to watch content that friends had recommended to them and 16 per cent using the internet to keep informed on crises, such as terror attacks.

When asked to list all of the genres of video clips viewers watched online, respondents voted comedy as most popular (40 per cent), followed by news (36 per cent), music (28 per cent), sports (23 per cent) and documentaries/factual (22 per cent). The least watched clips were chat shows (seven per cent), reality television (six per cent) and factual entertainment (three per cent).

The survey was conducted by Deloitte and YouGov on behalf of the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, which takes place on 28-30 August 2009.

Chris Robertson, Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) partner at Deloitte in Birmingham, said:  “Stimulating investment in a next generation broadband infrastructure for Britain has been at the heart of the Digital Britain debate. However, as this survey shows, making high-speed broadband access widely available to consumers is no guarantee that it will be taken up. Demand and willingness to pay for services varies significantly, and there is little evidence that the mass market is prepared to pay substantially more for it.

“One of the strongest advocates for online television may well be traditional television companies. In an ironic twist to earlier expectations, broadcasters and independent producers may, in the medium-term, be those that benefit most from online television. Broadcasters may increasingly use online television to support their core, traditional objective of maximising broadcast audience size and quality. Online clips, distributed via their own websites as well as third party platforms, are likely to be used to spark interest in their shows. Online catch-up can enable viewers that missed a broadcast episode to keep up with a storyline and remain interested in a series.

ENDS

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