Viewers want to influence TV show plots

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Viewers want more interactive television with two-thirds saying they wanted to be able to influence the plot of their favourite shows, a survey said today.

It also showed viewers are increasingly multi-tasking - using the internet or their phones while watching television.

More than three-quarters (87%) of people said they had posted comments on Facebook while watching television.

As people get more used to the interactive nature of the web, they are demanding a similar service from broadcasters.

More than two thirds (69%) of viewers aged 18 to 44 would like to be able to use live voting polls to influence the plot of their favourite programme and almost half (47%) said they would like to access Facebook through their television.

A fifth (21%) said they wanted to use internet shopping sites in the same way.

Ivan Ristic, Director at Diffusion PR who commissioned the study, said: "Television programming is heading the same way as traditional print media - the internet.

"Consumers are keen to be more involved with plot direction and want up-to-the minute information to be able to know what songs are playing and where they can buy their favourite characters' outfits. The trend shows that viewers want instant commentary and recommendation by their family and friends, currently turning to social networks and text messaging to do this whilst watching."

* YouGov questioned 2,086 people aged between 18 and 55 for the survey.