Tuesday, January 22, 2013

TVB insists television is still King

Did you know that PVR penetration is now up around 40% in Canada? Or that, despite that, 95% of all TV content in this country is still viewed "live"? Here's another stat: high-definition viewing now counts for about 42.7% of the market share.
These are three of the things I learned this morning at a breakfast hosted by the Television Bureau of Canada, those mysterious folks who run the Bessies and shout down all who suggest the TV biz is on the wane. They bill themselves as a resource centre for their members, of which there are over 150, comprised mostly of TV networks and advertisers.
The TVB hosted a TV Day in Toronto last year where they brought experts in from Europe and the States to argue TV was still the best media buy for advertisers. The same message was hammered home again this morning for a small gathering of Toronto media writers.
TVB president Theresa Treutler and Media research director Duncan Robertson ran charts and graphs showing TV viewership is up, even in the younger demos, over the past five years. Canadians watch 28 hours of TV a week, 31 or 31 hours if you factor in on-line streaming. Prime time continues to be called that for a reason with 14 million+ tuning in across Canada on an average weeknight.
There was some statistics showing that the kids aren't scanning though the commercials as much as we think and that even when the A18-34 demo is zipping through the cell phone spot 70% of them are aware of the sponsor.
This contradicts my own anecdotal poll conducted with my focus group, Katie and Daniel. When the kids are back from university, they get fidgety and disoriented watching regular broadcast television, getting up after ten minutes before they get nauseous and hurl. The 22-year-old can't believe I still live in a world where I sit through commercials. To them, it is like I am watching silent film, the old, highly flammable kind.
Daniel has seen every episode of Breaking Bad but on Netflix. He'll binge on those 14 episodes of Arrested Development, too, when Netflix releases them all at once in May.
The folks at the TVB call this going "over the wall." My kids have another word for it: "normal."
The speculation is that the broadcasters are going over the wall, too, and will own the content no matter where it lands and how you view it. Seems like we're all heading over the wall just to keep up with television.
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