The motives of TV broadcasters vary, depending on whether they are seeking terrestrial or multichannel audiences in order to attract lucrative advertising revenue. This will in turn fund additional high-profile programming and so on.
For cable (Virgin) and satellite broadcasts (Sky), subscription revenue is significantly more than that of advertising. If fact, in the UK, subscription and Pay-per-view (PPP) revenue are forecast to have outstripped TV advertising revenue by the year 2002.
A final area for consideration is that of active viewing, i.e. viewers actively interacting with the TV for the proposed services which the digital TV will introduce. Will consumers be prepared to interact with a device which traditionally has been used as a passive entertainment-orientated box, consumed at a distance and often in the presence of others? TV usage to date has involved very little interactivity.
Indeed, whether time spent in front of the TV will increase, due to the explosion in services which digital households will experience, is a debatable point. Should the services offered have a resonance and relevance for the UK population, be that through time-saving devices like home shopping and/or virtual reality games, then one can forecast an increase in time spent in front of the TV. Some of this time spent on interactive services will be taken from 'default or unplanned viewing' time.
The opportunities for developing new revenues streams from the interactive possibilities offered by digital TV appear relatively limited in the short term. However, as this report highlights, major opportunities will exist for those capable of raising to the challenge of developing easy-to-use, entertaining or time-saving devices.
When portraying the TV viewer of the future, it is important to understand the current life style and the relevance of TV to viewers in the present.
TV has a pre-eminent place in UK households with over 90% of the population watching some television during any week. There are 42 million TV sets in the UK (over two per household on average) and over 21 million video recorders. With the average viewer watching 25 hours of television per week, TV viewing is by far the most popular leisure activity in the UK. Derived from Ofcom and London News.