Canadian teens continue to watch less television: Survey

MUMBAI: A report from survey and research firm Statistics Canada notes that in the fall of 2004, Canadian teens aged 12 to 17 spent 12.9 hours a week in front of the TV, two hours less than in 2003 and almost three hours less than five years ago.

This drop can partly be attributed to the Internet. According to the survey data on household spending, Internet use in households with children under 18 has risen substantially, from 50 in 1999 to 82 per cent in 2004.

News and public affairs programmes experienced the sharpest decline with teen viewers. In 2004, teens spent only 9.4 per cent of their total viewing time on this type of show, down from 17.4 per cent in 2003. The full brunt of this loss came from Canadian programmes.

Men aged 18 to 24 watched the least amount of television (12.3 hours a week), whereas women 60 and over watched the most (35.6 hours a week).

Canadians spent 6.5 per cent of their television viewing time tuned into sports in the fall of 2004, down from 8.2 per cent in 2003. People were also spending less time watching programs with Canadian content, with viewer time falling to 37.2 per cent in 2004 from 40.2 per cent a year earlier.

Among all the age/gender groups, men aged 18 and older account for the majority of viewers of sports programs. In the fall of 2004, they spent 11.3 per cent of their time watching sports broadcasts, down from 14.3 per cent in 2003.

The cancellation of the 2004/05 National Hockey League season also significantly reduced Canadian content viewing. In the fall of 2004, it represented 45 per cent of sports programming, a significant drop from 62 per cent in 2003. In previous years, Canadian sports programming viewing had been relatively stable.

This, in turn, affected the overall proportion of television viewing of programmes with Canadian content. On conventional Canadian television stations, Canadian content dropped to 54.1 per cent in 2004 from 56.5 per cent in 2003. On Canadian pay and specialty channels, Canadian programs accounted for only 36.8 per cent of viewing, down from 44 per cent in 2003.

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