Football and adverts bring out TV zappers

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The Independent Online
A STUDY of how viewers use their remote control units to change channels, or 'zap', shows that most switching was caused by football, documentaries and bland situation comedies.

The programmes that viewers tended to stay with to the end include quality drama such as Maigret, Murder She Wrote and Forever Green, according to a survey by CIA, the UK media buying and consultancy group. The study shows that many zappers change channels as a programme ends, to miss the credits.

On average viewing drops by 18 per cent between the end of the action and the start of commercials. This drop-off is most marked among young viewers, in the 16 to 34 age group. The agency said that ITV should consider dropping credits, while advertisers might press for more high- quality drama rather than soaps, to keep the audience hooked.

The study shows that people zap less in the mornings, and most in peak time during weekdays. On Saturdays and Sundays viewers seem more relaxed, and sit down for a night's viewing, as a family.

The advertising breaks registering the largest falls were The News at Ten (8 per cent), football (42 per cent), LA Law (6 per cent) and Growing Rich (7 per cent).

When viewers change from an ITV programme they first try BBC 1 and then start to browse.

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