British spend record number of hours watching TV

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The Independent Online

British viewers are watching more television than ever before. The average number of hours each person spends in front of the TV each week has risen by more than 8 per cent to 30 hours 4 minutes, figures released today show.

The Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB) found that the average number of hours viewed per week increased in the first three months of the year by 2 hours 29 minutes year-on-year, with growth in every age group.

Thinkbox, the British marketing body for commercial broadcasters, said the rise in viewing hours had been prompted by greater choice offered by digital television, new technologies such as digital recorders, on-demand services and the recession encouraging people to spend more time at home.

Tess Alps, head of Thinkbox, said the figures proved the ongoing "importance and popularity of broadcast TV". However, she warned: "Record levels are unlikely to continue. We are nearing the peak, if we are not there already."

One of most popular shows of the first quarter of 2010 was the US musical comedy Glee, which was a hit with teenagers.

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