Online TV viewing doubles

British viewers are increasingly relying on broadband-delivered on demand TV services rather than turn on their digital TV sets.

The 2008 Communications Market Report, released today by the regulator Ofcom, shows that although there has only been a small increase in the number of minutes spent each day watching TV (218 minutes in 2007, compared with 216 in 2006) the numbers watching TV online has doubled from 8% to 17%.

A third of internet users (32%) watched videoclips and webcasts in 2007 compared to a fifth (21%) in 2006. At 9 million in April 2008, the number of UK internet users watching YouTube is double that of one year ago.

At the end of 2007, the number of TV households with a personal video recorder stood at almost six million, an increase of more than 50% when compared to the previous year. This has led to further erosion of the ad-funded advertising model with 88% of PVR owners claiming to fast forward through the TV commercials.

As at July 2008 nine out of ten households had digital TV compared to seven out of ten 12 months ago. By March 2008 almost 80% of all TVs sold in the UK were HD Ready. The number of HD subscriptions has more than doubled to 829,000, though it should be noted that Sky holds close to half a million of these, and Virginís HD-compatible V+ receiver is also the cablenetís primary PVR device.