U.K. audiences rise for global sporting event

World Cup soccer helped keep Brits glued to the boob tube.

Auds watched an average of 28 hours, 15 minutes of broadcast TV a week during the first half, up 2 hours, 2 minutes a week on the same period last year.

Growth was seen across every age group, according to figures from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (Barb) published by Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV in the U.K.

The increase was also credited to greater choice as more households have digital TV (now 94.2% penetration); new technologies such as digital TV recorders; on-demand services; Barb’s updated measurement system, which more accurately captures viewing on second TV sets and on-demand TV; and economic recession.

The average viewer watched 17 hours, 26 minutes of commercial TV a week during January-June, up by 48 minutes on the same period last year.

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