TV Statistics

How long are Brits spending in front of the TV?

Last updated:

Picture not described

More than 28 million homes in the UK have a television with the ability to sit and watch some form of streaming service like Netflix, Sky, Amazon or NOW TV – but just how long are we spending in front of the TV every day? We analysed all the latest statistics to see how glued we are to our screens.

Quick overview

  • 28.5 million homes in the UK have a television.
  • 25.8 million TV licences were issued in 2017/18, just 10,000 more than in 2016/17.
  • Of those TV licences, 7,531 were black & white TV licences, 700 less than in 2016/17.
  • On average we watch over 19 hours of TV every week, not including streaming services such as Netflix.
  • More than 13.3 million homes have a subscription view-on-demand service (SVOD) such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Now TV.

28.5 million

homes in the UK have a television in 2019.

TV ownership in the UK

We all love to keep up to date with our favourite TV shows, but just how many homes in the UK don’t have a TV at all?

TV ownership has been seeing a steady increase year-on-year, in 2019 more than 28.5 million of us have at least one TV in our home. Explore the graph below to see how TV ownership has increased over the last 5 years.

Year Number of TVs
2019 28.5 mil
2018 28.3 mil
2017 28 mil
2016 27.9 mil
2015 27.5 mil
2014 27.3 mil
2013 27.4 mil

Multiple TVs

In a modern household, owning more than one television is not unusual. We now have TVs in our bedrooms, kitchens and even bathrooms! How many households in the UK have more than one TV?

Over 15 million households in the UK have more than one TV, while just 1.37m don’t have a TV at all. Take a look at the chart below to see a detailed breakdown of the number of TVs per household.

Number of TVs Amount of homes
0 TVs 1.37m
1 TV 11.85m
2 TVs 8.94m
3 TVs 4.03m
4 TVs 1.59m
5+ TVs 0.8m

How long are we watching for?

You might have been told that watching too much TV can give you square eyes, but that isn’t stopping some Brits from racking up dozens of hours of viewing time every week. We analysed just how many hours a week we spend watching TV. Bear in mind the figures below are just for television shows and catch-up services, the figures don’t include anything watched on streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime.

  • The average Brit watched 19 hours and 17 minutes of TV in the week July 15th 2019.
  • The longest amount of TV watched per week was in the first week of January, at 25 hours and 53 minutes.
  • That is 43 minutes less than in the same week in 2018.

Over 19 hours

of television was watched by the average Brit, per week in 2019.

Binge-watching

With the introduction of streaming services and catch-up TV, it is now possible to binge-watch an entire series in one sitting. So just how often are Brits binge-watching their favourite shows? For these results, binge-watching was classified as watching more than one episode in one sitting.

16-24 year olds are the most likely to binge-watch TV shows, with 82% reporting to do it monthly, compared to just 29% of those aged 65+. While a whopping 11% of 16-24 reported binge-watching TV every day.

How often All adults 16+ Aged 16-24 Ages 65+
Every day 4% 11% 0%
At least weekly 35% 62% 16%
At least monthly 55% 82% 29%
Never 19% 3% 43%

Streaming services

Streaming services have changed the way we watch TV, no longer do you need to wait a week for the next episode. Whether you stream through Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV or another service, more than 13 million households now have at least one streaming subscription.

  • Over 46% of homes in the UK now have access to one of Amazon, Netflix or Now TV streaming services.
  • More than 13 million homes in the UK have at least one streaming subscription in 2019.
  • This is up 8.4% from the previous quarter (Q4 2018).
  • That is more than 1 million new subscriptions in just 3 months, the first time the number of new subscriptions has exceeded 1 million.
  • Netflix is the UK’s most popular streaming service, with 11.47 million subscribers.

8.4%

More homes have at least one streaming subscription than this time last year.

The UK’s most popular streaming services

Netflix is by far the most popular streaming service in the UK, with more than 11 million subscribers. Meanwhile Amazon Prime and NowTV have experienced healthy growth over the year too.

Streaming service Q1 2018 Q1 2019 Yearly change
Netflix 9.11 mil 11.47 mil 2.36 mil
Amazon 4.83 mil 5.96 mil 1.13 mil
Now TV 1.46 mil 1.62 mil 0.16 mil

How much are we spending?

With so many different streaming services out there, it’s easy to end up with multiple subscriptions. So just how much are Brits spending on streaming services?

You can see more statistics on our TV streaming habit on this page.

What are we watching?

What shows are capturing the imaginations of Brits? We dived into the latest statistics to see which programmes we are watching and which ones we aren’t.

  • “World Cup 2018: Croatia v England” was the most viewed programme of 2018, with over 20 million viewers.
  • In fact the World Cup 2018 made up 7 of the top 10 shows in 2018.
  • “Bodyguard” (14.3m viewers), “I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here!” (13.6m viewers) and “Strictly Come Dancing: The Final” (12.8m viewers) made up the other top 10 shows of the year.

Sources used

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK Communications Manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

Related articles

How many Brits are streaming?

How many Brits are streaming?

Our survey found that 4 in 5 (82%) or 43 million Brits streamed in some capacity over the last year. Of these Brits, 8.9 million illegally streamed TV shows, films and sport over the past 12 months. That's 17% of Brits that have admitted to doing so. This is the sixth most popular streaming activity in the UK. Read more…

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site