Feeds

Official: British telly really is almost all repeats

Traditional viewer grumble made real by digital era

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

One thing you can say about the rise of digital telly: there are now more repeats shown on British television than at any time since 2003.

In decades gone by, Brits would regularly moan about the number of repeats on the box - "another Christmas, another showing of The Great Escape" - but it's hard to imagine that repeats accounted for nearly half of all broadcasts.

But, according to Ofcom figures released today, that was the case in 2008.

Incidentally, we should thank, first, the UK's telecommunications and broadcasting regulator for finally putting out numbers that are almost a year out of date, a fact that many a news story today about Britain's digital viewing habits has cheerfully ignored.

Surely, Ofcom, you could have waited just a few weeks and included up-to-date numbers from 2009 too? Eleven months is a long time in the digital revolution, and past trends may easily have been bucked.

It's hard to see a change in the growing proportion of repeats being shown, though. Ofcom's numbers show a steady rise in the percentage of old programmes being given a fresh airing over the years, from 34.5 per cent in 2003 to 44.8 per cent in 2008.

At this rate, it won't be long before British telly really will consist mostly of repeats.

Over the same period, the transmission of new, home-made shows has fallen from 58.8 per cent to 50.1 per cent.

Overseas acquisitions have fallen, from 6.7 per cent in 2003 to 4.7 per cent on 2008, though this comes after peaking at 7.8 per cent in 2006.

So we're not being shown nothing but US cop shows, despite what some bar-room pundits may say.

In fact, we're shown the least amount bought-in material of any country in Europe. Ireland tops the chart with more than 30 per cent of programmes there originating outside the country.

Still, we're not being fed a full diet of repeats just yet. Sweden is closest, with re-broadcasted material accounting for 52.1 per cent of the total output. Italy does best: there, repeats account for only 22.3 per cent of broadcast output - or did in 2008. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.