UK consumers choose TV over holidays

UK consumers would rather give up their holidays than TV or broadband usage, according to research by communications regulator Ofcom.

When asked which items consumers were likely to cut back on in the recession, 47% said they would choose going out for dinner, while 41% said DIY and holidays. This compares with only 19% who would cut back on mobile phone spend, 16% on TV subscriptions and 10% on broadband services. The findings form part of Ofcom’s annual Communications Market Report into the UK’s TV, radio, broadband, telecoms and mobile industries, worth a total of £52bn (€61bn).

The research revealed that during the first quarter of 2009, 46% of consumers took a bundle of services from one operator, up from 39% a year earlier. By the end of March, 27% of households had a DVR, an increase of 29% since September 2008. About nine million DVRs had been sold in the UK, the majority being Sky Plus boxes.

In those homes, 15% of TV viewing was time-shifted last year. The report also revealed more people are watching programmes online, with 23% of households watching catch-up TV online in 2008 compared to 17% in 2007. Adults between 15-24 are most likely to watch catch-up TV online.

Other findings revealed that take-up of digital TV in the UK reached 89.2% by the end of March, up from 87.1% in 2008, while over two million households had access to an HD service. TV revenues increased by 1.3% during 2008 to £11.2bn, driven mainly by subscriber revenue. Advertising revenue fell by £105m.