Ratings rise is no myth

    The adage that an economic slump boosts ratings is proving correct.
    Comment, Broadcast Business


    Initially, it sounded a little like it might be the company line, the industry’s automatic retort to any questions raised over its robustness during the economic slowdown.

    “People watch more TV during a recession” was the chorus from broadcasters and technology suppliers alike.

    It now appears that any cynicism directed at this notion was unfounded.

    A recent UK survey commissioned by the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival found that 45 percent of those polled were watching more than an hour a day of additional programming as a result of the downturn, with news and documentaries picking up much of the extra viewing time.

    This is certainly good news for FTA channels. Even without an accurate audience measurement system in the Middle East, data that can support the claim that viewing figures tend to improve across the board is a valuable tool for sales teams looking to wrangle diminished marketing budgets from their advertisers.

    It’s also good news for pay TV operators.

    The same survey asked respondents which entertainment options they would be willing to sacrifice their spending on before TV.

    Eating out was the most popular option at 43 percent, the cinema was second with 38 percent. Broadband polled just five percent.

    So far this confidence appears to be filtering through to the broadcast technology vendors with the most recent IABM industry index showing that the market continues to grow, even if that growth is at a slightly reduced rate compared to previous years.

    All of this should ensure that this year’s IBC is not the damp squib that some doomsayers have predicted, and in fact provides a welcome boost for the broadcast technology industry.

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