TV viewership was record-breaking last year. Viewers spent almost four hours a day in front of TV screens

16. 2. 2021

The time spent by watching television is growing permanently. In 2020, viewers spent a time that was the highest in 24 years of existence of peoplemeter measurement. Viewers of the age group 15+ watched television almost 4 hours a day (3 hours and 59 minutes). From January to December, the average time spent in front of TV went up by 43 minutes (up to 4 hours 47 minutes), which corresponds to the average length of the main news broadcast. The trend of a higher audience was confirmed by this January, with the average time spent in front of TV being 4 hours 45 minutes. The growth of time-shift viewing was doubled last year.

Viewing figures are based on the Audience Measurement and Content Consumption Measurement Project (PCEM), involving a representative sample of 1900 households possessing a TV receiver, which corresponds to 4450 individuals. The project is implemented by the research agency Nielsen Admosphere for the Association of Television Organizations.

“Each yearend is traditionally associated with a wider range of television programmes and Christmas premieres broadcast at that time. It could be said that watching fairy tales and films together is one of Christmas rituals in lots of families. Yet, last December surprised us with an extraordinary high level of the indicator of ATS (Average Time Spent), namely 4 hours and 47 minutes in the age group 15+. On a year-to-year basis, the Average Time Spent went up almost by a half an hour,“ says Hana Havlíčková, ATO analyst. Viewers did not concentrate on a specific time only; nevertheless, interesting values were measured during the prime time from 19.00 to 23.00, when the viewers watched TV 1 hour and 51 minutes a day on the average, so from January to December 2020 this figure went up by 14 minutes.

Skyrocketing of time-shift viewing

What is becoming more and more prominent is time-shift viewing television, i.e. watching programmes at times chosen by the viewer himself or herself according to his or her mood and time possibilities.

“In the year-to-year comparison of January 2020 (17 minutes and 45 seconds) with January 2021 (34 minutes and 25 seconds), we can see almost a double increase in the time-shift viewership, the same proportional increase is obvious also in the month of December. A growth of time-shift viewership is becoming a trend recently. The growth is certainly influenced also by the fact that due to the pandemic, people spend more time indoors at home, but we believe that this viewing behaviour will become a habit, which will ultimately support television in its future competition against the Internet,“ explains Vlasta Roškotová, ATO executive.

Regular viewing figures are brought to the market by the TV Audience Measurement Project (PCEM), organized by the Association of Television Organisations (ATO) in cooperation with the research agency Nielsen Admosphere. Measurement results prove that television is a popular media further on. The increased interest of viewers in classical offer of TV broadcast is undoubtedly influenced by the governmental emergency measures and a higher amount of fee time. It is evident that television as a medium is sought after by people at the times that are extraordinary in a way (floods, elections, covid-19 etc.). Nonetheless, television remains a source of information and entertainment and is still the most popular media type with which people spend their time most.