Generation i: "Love telly, love live, love tech"


A look at the UK’s changing telly-habits from TV Licensing reveals 89 per cent of children’s TV viewing is live programming

Dubbed ‘Generation i’ by some because of having so much tech at their fingertips and thousands of hours of TV available through on-demand services, an astonishing 89 per cent of children’s viewing time is still devoted to live TV programming, says TV Licensing’s TeleScope 2014 report

Children still rush home from school to make sure they catch their favourite television programmes as they are televised, despite a proliferation of different ways to watch TV and other digital gadgets to keep them entertained.

They spend two hours 23 minutes a day watching TV, an hour and a half less than the national average of  three hours 55 minutes. Even though almost half of all children aged 5 to 15 use the likes of a PC or tablet to watch TV – nearly all (98 per cent) spend time sitting in front of the ‘traditional’ living room TV set, reveals the report.

TeleScope 2014, which examines children’s viewing habits now and in the past, also outlines family research results, provides a unique ‘Trip Down Memory Lane’1 and reveals top types of children’s TV across the years.

Despite three quarters of UK homes having a PVR, today’s children - as did their parents and grandparents before them - like to hurry home for fear of missing their favourite show. In 2013, eight of the top 10 children’s programmes were shown on school days between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

However, as tablet ownership increases among children, where they are watching TV is changing, especially in their bedrooms. In 2013, the use of tablets at home has tripled (42 per cent from 14 per cent in 2012) for 5 to 15- year-olds, whilst those who had a TV in their bedroom dropped (from 59 per cent to 52 per cent).

Pipa Doubtfire, Head of Revenue Management, BBC TV Licensing, said:

Children’s TV – as well as wider family entertainment programming - continues to play a central role in households. The families we spoke to during our research for TeleScope 2014 had a wide variety of viewing habits, but all found TV programmes had the ability to bring the family together.

It was also fascinating to see despite children having more devices and more ways in which to consume their favourite shows, the traditional TV set and live viewing are still the overwhelmingly the most favoured methods. With so many ways to watch TV, it’s important to remember a TV Licence is needed to watch programmes online via your computer, laptop or tablet as they’re being shown on TV.

TeleScope is an annual TV industry report produced by TV Licensing. It looks at the UK’s television viewing habits – identifying how we’re responding to new technologies and how our habits are changing. Insights from the past 12 months include:

  • We still prefer watching live: We watch around of 4 hours of TV a day, with 90 per cent of all viewing being live. In 2013, fewer than two per cent of us watching only time-shifted TV.

  • Time travel and craft are favourites across the years: We asked more than 2,000 adults what their favourite programmes were when they were children and why. Perennial favourites Blue Peter and Doctor Who were two programmes which have stood the test of time.

  • TVs are bigger: The trend towards buying bigger screens continues, with seven in ten sets sold classified as 'big' (at least 26") and jumbo screens (43" plus) now accounting for nearly 16 per cent of sales.

  • Tablet TV: Just over 55 per cent of tablet owners use their device for viewing video content such as TV programmes.

Key sections from TeleScope 2014 include:  

The State of the Nation: The latest facts and figures behind our technology upgrades and device ownership among children.Plus, how does the size of your TV compare to the national average?

We Love Live: We look at children’s viewing hours, the watershed effect and the Top 10 programmes for children in 2013.

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Taking a closer look at the genres of children’s TV, we see which programmes have stood the test of time and what ingredients make memorable children’s TV.

Made in the UK: We asked families from across the UK to tell us what TV they liked watching together and with a rich history in making classic children’s programmes, we look at where those programmes were made.

A Timeline of Children’s TV: We chart children’s TV from its inception through to today highlighting key programmes and moments along the way.



1 [From Friday, 7 March] Visit the TeleScope report at and view our "Behind The Voice" video series featuring the voices of The Wombles, Noddy, and Nanny (from Count Duckula) at


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