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A nation of telly addicts: Average Briton now spends four hours glued to the screenThe average viewing figure in Britain is now the third highest in the world behind only the U.S. and ItalyBritons watch 242 minutes of television every day, according to Ofcom
09:01 GMT, 13 December 2012
We are a nation of television addicts and now spend more than four hours in a day glued to the screen.
The average viewing figure is the third highest in the world behind the United States and Italy.
According to the Ofcom figures, Britons watch 242 minutes of television daily.
Telly addicts: The average Briton spends 242 minutes a day glued to the screen, new figures show
This is an increase of 17 minutes on 2010 figures – then Britons spent three hours and 45 minutes in front of the box.
Now only audiences in America, who spend almost five hours watching television, and Italy, where residents watch programmes for four hours and 13 minutes daily, are worse.
James Thickett, Ofcom’s Director of Research, said: ‘We have always been a nation of TV lovers, and our research shows that UK consumers are world leaders in using the latest TV technology.
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Rise: Only audiences in the U.S. and Italy watch more TV than Britons
He added rapid improvements in technology such as HDTV and improved screen size and quality had created a 'rush back to the living room'.
Where once parents and children watched shows on different sets in different rooms – technology was bringing people back to watch on the main TV.
The boom in smartphones – 60 per cent of the UK and two thirds of 16-34- year-olds own them – meant people were increasingly watching TV together in one room and simultaneously engaging with people on social networks.
He said: ‘We are finding that people are using their smart phones to engage with other people when they are watching their favourite TV programmes.
Mr Thickett explained there was evidence that people were returning to watching programmes as a family in the living room but young people would also be 'using the laptop or their smartphone' while watching TV with their parents.
In 2002, 35 per cent of homes had only a single set, but by 2011 this figure had increased to 40 per cent.
The switch to analogue has seen fewer people replacing sets in the kitchen or bedrooms, but instead investing in a bigger, technologically advanced main set in the living room.
UK consumers are also the most likely in the world to access TV content over the internet.
Almost a quarter of viewers claim they access services such as the iPlayer, 4OD and Sky Go, every week, compared to 17 per cent of Americans.