July brings less television viewers

A study released by the Broadcasting Authority identified the numbers and trends in the Maltese populations' TV consumption during the broadcast season. 

The latest survey reveals that the average amount of hours viewers spent watching television amounts to 1.57 hours every day, less than the month of February (1.73 hours) and less than that registered for the same period last year in July 2016 (1.80 hours).

In a study released by The Broadcasting Authority, it was found that during the month of July, an average of 191,000 people (51% of the population), aged 16 years and over followed at least one TV station during the month, while an average of 178,000 people (47.6%) listened to the radio. Over the whole population, the national average for TV viewing in July stood at 0.90 hours per person, which was 0.39 hours less than the national average at February 2017. Meaning that although television viewing was upheld by regular viewers, there were slightly less consumers watching television.

Data was collected by the National Statistics Office during the month of July and 37.2% of those contacted accepted to participate.  A sample of 1,240 was collected, with the youngest interviewed being 16 years old and the eldest person contacted 95 years old.

TV Audience Reach

TVM remains the most popular station with 33.1% followed by ONE (17.1%) and Net TV (7.8%). Overall 61.4% of all viewers followed a local station while the other 38.6% followed a foreign station with Mediaset Channels (12.9%), Rai 1 (5.5%) and Discovery Channels (4.8%) being the most popular stations.

As in other previous surveys, TV audiences tend to peak between 7:30pm and 10:00pm

TV reception service

TV reach by station July 2017
TV reach by station July 2017

As much as 91.5% of the population follows TV through a paid subscription.  Almost half of the population (41.0%) has more than one service available for watching television while only 4.5% of the population (≈16,800) follows programmes on the Free-to-air platform.  Of the latter group, 43.1% (≈7,200) only have a Free-to-air connection while the rest [56.9%; ≈9,600] also makes use of one or more of the services available.

The availability of multiple platforms for watching television is highest amongst the 16-30 age group (159.6%) and lowest amongst the 70+ age group (110.3%) – while more than half of all 16-30 year olds (59.6%) have at least access to two reception services only 10.3% of all 70+ year olds have access to two platforms for viewing television programmes.

TV Programme Genres

Respondents were asked what type of programme they like to watch on local television.  Local and Foreign News were the most favorite programme genres (63.0%) followed by local Drama programmes (43.4%), while Discussion & Current Affairs programmes ranked third (25.8%).

In general, when analysed by gender, more females (234.4%) than males (210.6%) had preferences for the genres named.  While male references exceeded those of females in just three categories – Local & Foreign News (+3.2%), Documentaries (+5.4%) and Sports (+23.4%); female preferences exceed those of males in Drama (+26.6%), Religious programmes (+6.0%), Light Entertainment (+10.8%), Teleshopping (+5.4%), and Music Videos (+4.5%).

There was very little gender difference for Discussion programmes (±1.1%); cultural/Educational programmes (±1.4%), and Children’s programmes (±0.2%).

Children watching TV

Out of all the respondents only 12.1% replied that they have children between 9 and 15 years old.  As much as 3.3% (»12,300) of all respondents categorically replied that their children between the ages of 9-15 years do not watch television.

The responses were categorized into twelve difference categories and analysed by the age groups of respondents.  The most quoted were Children’s Channels (61.02%); followed by Drama (11.51%) and Documentaries (8.27%).

The full version of the results of the survey can be downloaded from the Authority’s website.


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