Traditional TV gets lockdown boost in UK | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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Research from Ofcom has revealed that the continued lockdown in the country has not produced not just a surge in streaming but also seen viewers flock back to broadcast TV channels with such  viewing in May at higher levels than in the previous four years.
Ofcom viewing 27May2020
The UK broadcast regulator’s Effects of Covid-19 on TV Viewing report showed that daily TV viewing has continued to track above that of last year for all of April. This is true of both broadcast TV and what is called ‘unmatched viewing’, that is a combination of SVOD, gaming and online video such as YouTube.

The study found that March 2020 saw the viewing share of all public service broadcasting (PSB) channels the highest so far this year at 58.8%. April's figure was lower than March but higher than January and February at 57.5%. So far in May 2020, Ofcom has observed the PSB share at similar levels to April. Yet average weekly reach to broadcast TV has dropped further in the week beginning 27 April 2020 to 88.7% and is now lower than comparable weeks in 2019 and 2018. Since the week beginning 13 April 2020, the number of people watching broadcast TV dropped below previous years.

The weekly reach to news viewing was also found to be declining since the week commencing 23 March 2020 although it still remains much higher than viewing in previous years. Just over nine in ten Nine in ten respondents (92%) in the survey were found to be still accessing news about Covid-19 at least once a day. A third of respondents (33%) say they are ‘trying to avoid news about coronavirus’ with those aged 25-34 most likely to say this. Female respondents (35%) were more likely than male respondents (30%) to say they are avoiding news on the topic.

Commenting on the results revealed by the Ofcom survey, Nick Baker, TV expert at comparison and switching service said: “It is perhaps unsurprising that at times of national crisis, millions still turn to national broadcasters like the BBC and ITV for information and their daily news update. Broadcasters should rightly be proud of this surge in their viewing figures, however the question remains whether they can sustain the highs as Britain begins to come out of lockdown. The likely truth is this will be nothing more than a temporary blip as the runaway popularity of streaming services means they have continued to see a growth in subscriber numbers over the last two months.”