Study: Kids watch more with feevee

Age group prefers soaps, reality, sitcoms, films, soccer

LONDON — Kids in Blighty with access to cable and satellite channels watch about 30% more TV a day than those who have just the five terrestrial channels, according to a report published Monday by the Broadcasting Standards Commission and the Independent Television Commission.

Children in multichannel homes watch, on average, 2 hours and 27 minutes per day; that’s 35 minutes more than those with terrestrial TV. Viewing among kids ages 4-15 was 2 hours and 23 minutes, significantly lower than the average viewer, who spends 3 hours and 34 minutes a day watching TV.

More than half the kids with multichannel TV watch channels other than the main terrestrial networks. ITV1 and BBC1 now account for just 32% of children’s viewing.

Kids invested only half an hour watching children’s programming. Soaps, reality, sitcoms, films and soccer proved more appealing.

The most watched program was BBC1 soap “EastEnders,” which drew 2.37 million young viewers, followed by the live final of reality talent show “Pop Idol,” which attracted 2.2 million. Top U.S. films were “A Bug’s Life” (1.94 million) and “The Mummy” (1.92 million).

Top kids program in 2002 was factual series “Newsround” (BBC1, 1 million). The highest-rated show in 2002 in multichannel homes was “All About Me” (446,000), followed by “Newsround” (385,000).