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ITV chief blames fewer unemployed people for 9% decline in British TV watching

Published by Business Insider on Tue, 17 Mar 2015

Adam Crozier, the chief executive of ITV, says British people watch on average 3.41 hours of TV per day, slightly down on the year before. But it's not the onslaught of Netflix competition that is drawing people away from the tube, he says. It's their jobs.Crozier, speaking at the Enders Analysis conference in London, said the amount of live TV viewing today is roughly the same as it was in 2005, after declining for a couple of years. "That can be linked back to more people becoming employed," he says, as the economic recovery in Britain chips away at the number of unemployed people who would've had enough spare time to watch broadcast TV.If he's right, that's good news for ITV: It means the company's underlying broadcast/cable business isn't under fundamental threat from "cord-cutters" who don't want to pay for TV or watch old-fashioned live TV. Those consumers are switching their viewing habits to video on demand from web sources. In the US, broadcasters are already seeing their audiences whither for just this reason. Live viewing has declined 5.5% in America, year on year.Crozier then showed this chart, which appears to show that minutes per day viewership for ITV has declined 9% since 2010. The upper middle chart shows columns for 2005, 2010 and 2014. In 2014, people watched 221 minutes per day, down from 242 minutes in 2010:It was not clear how the "3.41 hours" stat he cited prior to showing the chart related to the numbers on the chart. Regardless, Crozier said at both points in his presentation that live TV audience was declining.ITV has its own VOD business, most prominently ITV Player, and he said the company was committed to giving people shows wherever and however they wanted them.Join the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: A British artist did something incredible with snow
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