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TV viewers stay glued to the box

Internet fails to pull audiences away

LONDON — Levels of TV viewing remain high despite phenomena like social networking, according to U.K. regulator Ofcom’s latest international communications market report.

Japanese and U.S. auds spend the most time watching TV — both averaging 4.5 hours a day in 2006 compared with 3.5 hours a day in the U.K.

The Swedes were the lightest TV viewers, consuming 2.5 hours a day.

The U.S. leads the take-up of high-definition TV with 10% of homes capable of viewing HDTV in 2006.

In Japan, the figure was 6%, but in Blighty it was only 1%. However, growth of multichannel TV was highest in the U.K., where it rose faster than anywhere else in Europe.

Similarly in the U.K. TV industry revenue per person was ahead of all other European countries — at $330.

This, however, was behind the U.S. — at $472 per head the highest in the world.

The study also put the U.K. slightly ahead of the U.S. for the first time in terms of broadband take-up. Over half of all households were connected in 2006.

In Blighty adults spend more time on social networking sites than their European neighbors; four in 10 U.K. adults say they regularly visit the sites.

These users spend an average of 5.3 hours each month on them returning an average 23 times in the month.

In the U.K. and the U.S., women use the Internet more often than men.

In the U.S., 52% of Internet users are women while in the U.K. the Internet is used equally by men and women, except in the18-34 age group where women spend more time online than men — 57% compared with 43%.

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