What’s on the box? We spend TWO MONTHS a year watching TV

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Not only does the average person in the South East spend over two months a year watching television, social media sites are also influencing the viewing choices of many people, according to a report published by TV Licensing.

Research into the UK’s TV viewing habits, suggests that the trend of commenting via a second screen about a programme, or ‘chatterboxing’, is starting to grip the region.

A quarter of all adults in the South East, and almost half of those aged under 35, say they have commented to others, online or via SMS, about a TV programme they have been watching

Chatterboxingis actually reinforcing some people’s desire to watch scheduled TV. An ICM poll suggests that one in four young adultsin the region, aged under 35, try to watch a programme live, rather than on catch up, because they enjoy being part of the related social media chatter or are worried ‘social media spoilers’ will ruin programmes for them.

Online buzz is also changing viewing behaviour by, for example, introducing us to new programmes or encouraging us to seek out related content online. Almost a third of those under 35 say it enhances their TV viewing experience in some way.

The average person’s weekly TV diet in the South East sees them consume almost 27 hours of TV, which includes over 2.5 hours of catch-up, on the ‘traditional’ TV set.

We top this up even further because, on average, we estimate we spend over three hoursper week watching programmes on our laptops, smartphones and tablet. In total, this could amount to watching over 30 hours per week, or more than two months per year.

The average household has 2.43 TV sets, 1.54 laptops, 0.92 smartphones and 0.44 tablets on which we watch television.

Watching ‘on the go’ is increasing: One in four people watched TV content on the move in 2011, via mobile viewing technologies. The figure is much higher for under 35s, as 34 per cent watched in this way last year.

While live TV is still hugely dominant, more people are creating their own TV schedules, as time-shifted viewing accounted for 9.96 per cent of consumption in the South East in 2011, up from 7.89 per cent in 2010.

And TV programmes bring people together physically, as well as virtually. A quarter of adults aged under 35, have been to a TV-themed party in the last five years. X-Factor, World Cup 2010, Royal Wedding and Eurovision parties have proved to be among the most popular themes.