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One in five Irish people watch TV regularly on a computer

Despite change in how people watch TV shows, survey finds 60 per cent are not in favour of Universal Household Charge.

Image: USB via Flickr.com

A NEW SURVEY of 1,000 Irish people reveals that one in five of them now regularly watch TV programmes on their laptops or PCs.

The research was carried out by independent market research company iReach last month, on behalf of Magnet Networks, the company behind free web-based TV service www.magnetwebtv.ie.

It found that:

  • Of those surveyed, 71 per cent watch TV shows on their laptops or PCs – and that 20 per cent of the total surveyed do so regularly;
  • Those watching TV on their computer rises to 89 per cent in the 18-25-year-old age group – and 58 per cent of that total age group do so regularly;
  • Of the 18-25 year olds who own a tablet (like an iPad) or smartphone, 40 per cent have watched a TV programme on a tablet, and 35 per cent have watched on a smartphone.

On the issue of the Universal Household Charge, a levy being suggested by the Government which would replace the current TV licence and would apply to those also watching TV programmes on PCs, smartphones and tablets, 60 per cent of those surveyed were not in favour of it. Twenty two per cent thought a UHC should cost the same as the current TV licence fee of €160.

However, 83 per cent of those surveyed also thought that the current TV licence fee of €160 was too expensive.

It seems the smartphone has really taken off in Ireland - One third (34 per cent) of those surveyed owned a smartphone. Yet only 3 per cent of those surveyed said that they owned an iPad or tablet PC. Of that small number, 72 per cent said they mostly watched it for surfing the net, and only 9 per cent used it to watch television.

The survey also found:

  • Almost 30 per cent of respondents have used Facebook or Twitter to comment on a TV programme while watching it;
  • Watching YouTube videos is the most common activity on PCs, smartphones and tablets;
  • Over one in ten have watched TV on devices while travelling on public transport;
  • iPads and tablets are most used for emailing, social networking, listening to music, followed by playing games, surfing apps, researching products and services and shopping;
  • Three-quarters of those surveyed believe they will still own a television in ten years’ time.

Your say: Should people who don’t own a TV have to fund RTE?>

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