Feeds

Official: British telly really is almost all repeats

Traditional viewer grumble made real by digital era

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

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first, the UK's telecommunications and broadcasting regulator for finally putting out numbers that are almost a year out of date, a fact that many a news story today about Britain's digital viewing habits has cheerfully ignored.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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.