Ethnic minorities in UK watch less TV, says Ofcom survey

MUMBAI:Ofcom has conducted a Communications Market Special Report on ethnic minority groups (EMGs) in the UK that suggest that they are among the most enthusiastic and technology aware consumers of communications services.

Interestingly, these groups watch less TV - especially the biggest traditional channels. Those with internet are more likely to have broadband and to use and depend on a mobile phone than the rest of the population.

This report looks at a sample of the largest ethnic minority groups in the UK including Indians, Pakistanis, Black Caribbeans and Black Africans - as well as EMGs as a whole. The report assesses how these groups are served by the communications industry, and explores the differences between the EMG population and the general population. The research looked at three communications services: television, telecoms (fixed line and mobile) and internet.


The survey conducted among adults from a range of different EMGs found that, when asked, 83 per cent said that communications technology is important to them. This compares to the UK average of 69 per cent. In addition some 72per cent of people from EMGs said that they keep up with technology compared to the UK average of 59 per centand 63per cent said they could not happily live without a mobile phone (50 per cent UK).

The fingings also suggest that EMG individuals watch less television per day (3 hrs 16 min) than the average person in the UK (3 hrs 37 min). Of the television they do watch they have a stronger preference for films (13.5 per cent of total EMG viewing compared to a 9.6 per cent UK average) and children‘s programming (3.9 per cent of EMG viewing, 2.3 per cent UK average) than the wider UK population.

The report also shows that, when choosing communications services, EMG adults are in many ways more likely to take their children‘s needs into account. For example, when asked to value the benefits of digital television, 66per cent of parents from EMGs mentioned the ability to set parental controls compared to a UK average of 47 per cent. Likewise, when asked the reasons for having the internet at home, some 74per cent of EMG adults mentioned their children‘s education compared to a UK average of 47per cent.

The data indicates, of all internet users in the UK, a higher proportion of people from EMGs have broadband (80%) than the UK average (74per cent). Some 86 per cent of EMG households have a fixed-line telephone (89 per cent UK) and mobile take-up was higher among EMGs (83 per cent vs. 80 per cent UK average).

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said, "This latest research from Ofcom shows encouraging take-up of digital communications services among ethnic minority groups. However, the evidence suggests that Britain‘s most watched broadcasters need to reflect on whether they are connecting sufficiently with minority ethnic groups".

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