Viewing habits changing UK television

Sky's Lost viewing breakdown
Sky's Lost viewing breakdown

The way in which the UK watches television is changing, with figures from Sky showing the rise of time-shift TV as the nation moves to PVRs and video on demand.

Nearly one in five people on Sky view time-shifted content through their Sky+ boxes, making it the most popular 'channel' on the platform.

TechRadar has got its hands on the latest statistics from Sky, and they show an increasing shift away from 'linear' television – viewing programmes live as they are broadcast.

Channel Me

More people watch their own personal 'channel' – made up of the content they have recorded and the Sky Anytime VOD content – more than any of the traditional channels, with 18 per cent watching time-shifted content.

This has caused a major change in the way that Sky looks at viewing figures.

Previously 'overnights' gave a view of what the most popular shows were, but Sky now tracks data 'well beyond' the traditional windows, with Sky+ and VOD increasing aggregate audiences for the shows.

Sky gives the example of popular US import Lost, which saw as many people (roughly 500,000) watch it through Sky+ as watched the original broadcast on a Sunday evening.

On top of that, another half million people watched the show through repeats, recordings of repeats, interactively through the red button or through Sky's online Sky Player VOD service.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.