Kiwis find solace in the box as TV viewing hits high

It’s good news for broadcasters, couch sellers and pizza delivery folk, but it’s bad news for obesity campaigners: the latest research from newly established industry body ThinkTV has shown New Zealanders spent more time than ever watching television in 2010, with the average square-eyed Kiwi tuning in for three hours and 22 minutes every day, 20 percent more than in 2007.
“We are seeing growth in all areas of television consumption across the major free-to-air channels,” says Rick Friesen, chief executive of ThinkTV. “As networks continue to broadcast engaging and exciting content for their viewers this is a trend we expect to see continue in 2011.”

Adding to the recently announced positive revenue results, 2010 saw an additional 31,000 people tuning in, with almost 75 percent of the population (or over 2.95 million people) engaging with television on a daily basis, something Friesen puts down to the fact that watching TV is a social activity and people have an emotional investment in the shows they watch.

The study showed TV is the only medium not to have lost audience to the rise in online media consumption. The Roy Morgan total media consumption reports found that while print and radio have lost audience share to online growth, television audiences have remained strong over the past eight years, with over 96 percent of the population having viewed TV in the last seven days.

“New Zealand produces innovative TV content, with fantastic, original programming across all the networks. We are excited to see what lies ahead in 2011, and look forward to more growth and an increasing audience,” says Friesen.

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