The report, National Obsession: our relationship with TV, found that more than half (52 per cent) of the nation – 33 million – admit to being telly addicts. TV forms a solid, valued place in consumers’ lives, with a fifth (21 per cent) saying they watch their favourite programmes out of habit and a third (33 per cent) saying TV brings a sense of structure to their life.
When choosing new programmes, many are risk averse, picking programmes which come recommended by family or friends (43 per cent) or programmes which star a favourite actor (35 per cent). However nearly one in six (16 per cent) admit to trying a new programme out of FOMO (fear of missing out), indicating the desire for social connection that TV fulfils.
The research also found TV is a social enabler, helping people to connect with others – 29 per cent of Britons even felt it helps bring together family, partners or housemates, while just under a third (31 per cent) make some kind of compromise or joint decision with family or housemates about what to watch, showing that the TV viewing context and environment is often as important as what’s on the box."