Viewers say sex on TV is simply not a turn on

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The Independent Online

Most television viewers say broadcasters are using sex to boost ratings – yet it is failing to arouse their interest.

Most television viewers say broadcasters are using sex to boost ratings – yet it is failing to arouse their interest.

A study found 85 per cent of Britons thought programme makers were including nudity and erotic content in attempts to get them to switch on.

But 83 per cent of the 1,000 people quizzed in the poll – done for the Edinburgh international television festival – said the use of saucy content as bait did not make them more likely to watch. Nine out of 10 women said sex did not attract them to a programme.

The findings come a week after the Broadcasting Standards Commission warned that programme makers were pushing the boundaries of the 9pm watershed. It said the drive for ratings was prompting more unsuitable material, such as sexual or violent content, to be shown earlier.

The survey was commissioned by producers of a debate about the use of sex on television at this year's festival. It found that 48 per cent of those questioned felt sex was not realistically portrayed.

The festival's advisory chairman, Charles Brand, said: "The public believes that sex plays a major part in programme making in the UK. Yet broadcasters are, in public, still loath to admit it. The TV festival this year asks for a lot more honesty on all sides."

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