Britain swaps traditional TV sets for handheld devices

The average British home has fewer TVs than a decade ago - but the amount of television we watch is on the rise

Brits own fewer TV sets than we did in 2003, but that doesn’t spell bad news for the TV industry.


While each British home was the proud owner of 2.3 TV sets in 2003, ten years later the average household only owns 1.8 – but, according to TV Licensing’s annual TeleScope study, the amount of time each of us spends watching telly is on the rise.

British citizens now watch an average of four hours and two minutes of TV a day, an increase of 26 minutes from three hours and 36 minutes in 2006.


The growing popularity of TV is partly explained by the fact that rather than sitting down in front of the box, or owning multiple TVs, we are more likely to watch telly on handheld devices like laptops, smart phones and tablets. BBC iPlayer reported an increase of 177% on requests from mobiles and tablets in 2012 and noted that audiences spent 34% more time watching iPlayer as a whole.