Young audiences are the focus of this year’s celebration of World Television Day on 21 November – as declared by the United Nations in 1996. On this occasion the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) and EGTA, the Brussels-based association of television and radio sales houses once again join forces to celebrate this day.
A 30-second video highlighting the role TV plays in the lives of young people will be broadcast by televisions across Europe, Asia, Canada, USA and Australia on 21 November including the channels of MTVA. The video reflects how young audiences across the world now watch programmes on various devices, including mobile phones and tablets. It shows them forming the popular heart shape with their hands to echo the sentiment of World TV Day which is We Love TV. Television is proving popular among young audiences with those in Europe aged 15–24 years old watching on average 2.11 hours of TV a day. As much as 94.5% of that time is spent watching live television (based on figures collated by the EBU Media Intelligence Service). MTVA has also compiled a research on young Hungarian viewers based on data from Nielsen Audience Measurement. The people meter audience measurement data contradict to the wide spread opinion that “today’s youngsters do not watch television”. The results of the survey, which did not even include platforms outside of traditional TV sets, have shown that nowadays many young people do not watch TV every day and therefore the daily reach has been reduced. However if they sit down to watch TV the time spent witch watching is at least as long as before, even longer than in 2007. The full research document can be found at http://www.worldtelevisionday.tv/ .
EBU Director-General Ingrid Deltenre states that today’s anniversary is a timely reminder of the golden age of television we are living in.
“There is more, and better quality TV content than ever before and as consumers we have so much more choice about how to enjoy it all, since it is available to us whenever and wherever we want. This year’s theme is key to our industry; we need fresh young talent to work with us and to learn from in order to be even more relevant in the future than we are today. Once again, I am glad to see so many partners joining forces worldwide to celebrate a medium that has managed to stay relevant by reinventing itself in numerous ways.”
EGTA President Jan Isenbart says today’s TV is all about choice and ubiquity.
“Let’s not forget that it was the established linear TV channels that opened the doors for time-shifted and on-demand viewing. Young viewers have embraced the new opportunities to watch premium video content anytime, anywhere and on any device more enthusiastically than any other target group, without abandoning the central role of the big screen in the living-room. In fact, the vast majority of their total viewing continues to be on the TV set. With almost unlimited options, television has entered a second golden age for content producers, advertisers and viewers alike.”
Chairman of the ACT Board of Directors Magnus Brooke says commercial broadcasters need to offer the audience the opportunity to consume content wherever and whenever they want it.
“Of course, young people are leading the way in consuming content in different ways, though young viewers still continue to consume a lot of content via linear TV as well as on a number of other platforms. We will continue to adapt to their needs to deliver the best and most innovative services that inform and entertain Europe.”
UN Regional Information Centre Deputy Director Caroline Petit says World Television Day was proclaimed an annual event by the United Nations in 1996 in recognition of the impact television increasingly has on decision-makers.
“World Leaders have recently adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They can only be a success if people – especially the youth – know about them. TV has the potential to help sharpen the understanding of the goals and other global topics” Ms Petit said. “TV’s power lies in its ability to reach people by sending strong images and illustrate complex developments.”
The three associations also gathered research and figures about young viewers’ media consumption, which can be found here: http://www.worldtelevisionday.com/facts-and-figures/
To celebrate their love of television, viewers are encouraged to use the hashtags #WeloveTV and #WorldTVDay on social networks on 21 November.