WHY DO CZECHS WATCH MORE TV? LAST YEAR IT WAS FOUR HOURS A DAY

15. 6. 2022
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Even the massive rise of social media and streaming services has not deterred Czech viewers from watching classic linear TV channels. What's more, their viewership is continuously growing to last year's record of four hours a day (four hours and two minutes, to be precise). This, incidentally, is 48 minutes a day more than in 2007, as pointed out by Nielsen Admosphere, which provides electronic measurement of TV viewership for the Association of Television Organizations (ATO).

But if we focus on real-time TV viewing, that is, simply turning on the TV and watching what the programme is offering live, the figures have remained virtually unchanged over the past nine years.

According to Nielsen, if in 2012 Czechs spent an average of 3 hours and 31 minutes a day watching live TV, last year it was exactly the same amount of time. And over the past 11 years, that time has changed little - from 3 hours 28 minutes to 3 hours 39 minutes. So where did the steady rise to more than four hours of TV viewing a day that Nielsen declared last year come from? It's the phenomenon of "delayed viewing," the back-viewing of broadcasts from TV archives using TimeShift. Indeed, since 2012, this deferred viewership has been counted in the total viewership, and shows watched from the archives can gain viewers as long as seven days after they were actually broadcast live in linear broadcasting.

One eighth of daily viewership is accounted for by archives


If 11 years ago deferred viewership accounted for just one second a day on average, it was already five minutes in 2016, almost a quarter of an hour in 2019 and nearly 33 minutes last year (see chart from Nielsen Admosphere below). This already accounts for a full eighth of total daily viewership (!) and this share looks set to continue to rise. Viewers increasingly prefer to be able to watch their favourite shows when they have time for them, rather than when the programming of a particular TV channel offers them. In terms of age groups of viewers, this is how most people of working-age people aged between 25 and 64 watch TV (last year's data). This is not just TimeShift, but also the use of pre-HbbTV archive programmes and online archives if the viewer watches them on the main TV set in the home.

The question is what the post-Covid years will do to increasing TV viewing (in the sum of live and delayed viewing). Indeed, record numbers were reached in 2020 and 2021, when people spent more time at home due to government measures against the spread of the coronavirus. With the relaxation of measures, people are returning to other leisure activities and TV ratings may stagnate. Not so the share of deferred viewing in total TV time. Which, incidentally, is why the FTV Prima Group has decided to crack down on the possibility of skipping advertising blocks for back-viewed programmes in IPTV operators' offers. Advertising is sold for viewership, and if a viewer can skip it in the archive, the broadcaster has to supply the advertiser with viewership for his spot elsewhere.

Ad skipping is a problem that plagues even Nova


Television advertising is bought in advance for a certain number of viewers, and the TV station has to deliver it to the client in the form of GRP's, i.e. guaranteed reach of the chosen target group. Specifically, FTV Prima had a big problem in the recent past to deliver purchased GRP's because it did not have enough free advertising space on its free-to-air channels. This is why Prima Star and Prima Show (and also CNN Prima News) were created in a short period of time and why FTV Prima also maintains Prima +1, Prima's main channel, which is time-shifted by one hour, on terrestrial broadcasting. Each new linear programme is cheaper in terms of operating costs than the previous one (unless it is a speciality such as a news TV or sports channel), and can be filled with acquisition content that the broadcaster repeats on several programmes in short succession, or with original programmes from the archive.

But as the proportion of delayed viewing increases, so does the proportion of viewers who skip advertising blocks in programmes played back in this way, and television is already feeling this quite financially. The fact that this is not only a problem for Prima was confirmed at the recent DIGIMEDIA 2022 conference by Josef Uher, technical director of the competing TV Nova, who said that this TV station is also negotiating with IPTV operators on banning rewinding of advertising blocks. Unlike Prima, however, Nova does not want to "fight" with viewers or IPTV operators, but rather explain that this activity should not turn against it. Prima has filmed a spot campaign because of the rewinding of commercials, but the impact of this campaign is questionable and may be counterproductive for many viewers. What is certain is that delayed viewership would play an increasingly important role, making ad skipping an increasingly pressing issue.

Source: televizniweb.cz
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