Box Set Britain

Ofcom reveals how technology is
changing the way we watch TV

Eight in ten adults in the UK - that's 40 million people - are using catch-up or subscription services to watch multiple episodes of a series in one sitting, wiping out the wait for next week's installment.

Most people find binge watching relaxing and enjoyable. But around a third admit the temptation to watch another episode has cost them sleep and left them feeling tired.

Perhaps as a result, more than a third of binge viewers are trying to cut down their TV viewing by rationing their viewing, finding an alternative hobby or even cancelling a TV subscription.

For many, the desire to keep up
with programmes is driven by a
fear of someone spoiling a programme's ending

And for some, the days of being tied to the TV schedule are fading, as UK viewers take advantage of being able to watch whenever, wherever they like. 

For many, watching TV is now a solo activity 

A third of people say members of their household sit together, in the same room, watching different programmes on
separate screens

Despite this, nine in ten people watch live TV every week, and family viewing is still an integral part of family life. 

Three in ten say that their family still watches the same programmes or films together, every day.

"Technology has revolutionised the way we watch TV. The days of waiting a week for the next episode are largely gone, with people finding it hard to resist watching multiple episodes around the house or on the move. 

But live television still has a special draw, and the power to bring the whole family together in a common experience."

Lindsey Fussell, Consumer Group Director at Ofcom

These are just a fraction of the findings in Ofcom's annual Communications Market Report.

Visit to find out more, including insights into the UK's internet habits and attitudes towards online privacy.