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Play it again Santa – Brits PREFER repeats at Christmas according to Freeview research

Posted December 20, 2010 - Press Releases

Freeview, the UK’s biggest digital TV provider, has found that the majority of Brits prefer classic TV to the new specials being pumped out by our contemporary stars of drama and comedy in a poll of more than 2,000 UK adults.

Nearly two thirds of Brits prefer classic Christmas TV to new seasonal shows

  • Brits set to watch an average of 70 hours of TV over the Christmas period and record a further 15
  • Christmas Day TV marathon – the average Brit has the telly on by 10am and 60 per cent are still watching at midnight
  • And nearly two thirds will fall asleep in front of the box on Xmas Day; the average Brit will doze off at 4.19pm
  • Queen’s Speech biggest Christmas TV turn off for 1/4 of the nation

In contrast to complaints from many quarters about the volume of repeats on TV, the research by Freeview reveals that almost two thirds (60 per cent) of Brits prefer classic Christmas TV to new, with over half (56 per cent) of the population finding older comedies funnier than their contemporary counterparts, while 38 per cent say they would like to see even more classic comedy at Christmas.

According to the poll, half the UK (49 per cent) says that classic TV is best because it’s more family friendly, as we all look to avoid those uncomfortable family moments in front of the box, while 43 per cent simply point to better storylines.

Yet despite the resurgence of interest in the Royal Family thanks to William and Kate’s engagement announcement, the Queen’s Speech is voted the biggest Christmas TV turn off for a quarter (24 per cent) of the nation.

While it isn’t enough that Brits will be glued to the box throughout the festive break, watching over 70 hours of live TV and recording a further 15 hours, the digital TV recorder has now become such an essential item at Christmas that 47 per cent of us will be recording shows during the Christmas period.

The survey also showed how Brits enjoy a Christmas day TV marathon with nearly 45 per cent of the nation switching on the TV before 10am, whilst the TV is still on 14 hours later at midnight for around 60 per cent of the nation. The average Christmas Day timetable for Brits was found to be:

7.53am: Get out of bed
9.34am: Open presents
10.04am: TV is switched on
2.24pm: Christmas dinner
4.19pm: First fall asleep in front of the TV
10.24pm: Turn the TV off
11.30pm: Go to bed

With TV providing a virtually ever present back-drop to our Christmas Day routines, two thirds of us expect to fall asleep in front of the box at some point, with the post Christmas dinner slump hitting most of the nation at 4:19pm.

With the nation’s appetite for Christmas TV stronger than ever, the popularity of digital TV recorders such as Freeview+ mean that even family interruptions, programmes clashes and falling asleep won’t get in the way of our favourite telly, as more than one in five Brits (21%) plan to record a day’s worth or more of TV over the Christmas period.

The research also demonstrated that for many, the TV has a more important place in Christmas activities than the dinner table – 20 per cent of those polled said they could not live without the TV compared to only 17 per cent who said that eating Christmas dinner together at a table was an essential activity on Christmas Day. And over 11 per cent will actually be eating their Christmas dinner on their lap in front of the box.

Finally, when asked which one moment of Christmas Day we would most like to pause if we could, 39% of us said it would be the joy of watching other people open presents, closely followed by Christmas dinner, with 33%.

Ilse Howling, Managing Director of Freeview, comments: “These days it doesn’t matter whether you’re a late riser or an early dozer on Christmas Day, as Freeview+ ensures Christmas telly addicts can record and store programmes so they don’t miss their favourite shows. While in many respects Christmas TV has never been better, thanks to so much new talent and the quality of high definition, repeats hold an important place in the nation’s hearts. Sometimes you just can’t beat the classics. ”

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