In The Frame - August '22
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In The Frame - August '22


Ofcom’s fifth annual Media Nations report has found that younger viewers in the UK spend an average of 53 minutes a day watching linear TV. Of those aged between 18 and 24, 90% head straight to Netflix, their favourite streaming service, while those aged 65 or over spend almost six hours a day watching broadcast TV, up on the corresponding figure a decade ago.

Research in the US, meanwhile, shows streaming viewing has exceeded cable for the first time. Nielsen reports that streaming viewership in a given month has exceeded broadcast viewing before but this is the first time it has also surpassed cable viewing.

Nearly 800,000 UK households cancelled their subscriptions to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video between April and June. The rise in energy prices is regarded as a “catalyst” by the chief executive of Barb.

In response to the rising prices for energy, food and elsewhere, Netflix is reportedly targeting cost-conscious consumers by offering a new ad-funded tier, serving four minutes of commercials per hour, for $7-9 a month (Ofcom regulations stipulate a maximum broadcast quota of 12 minutes per hour).

Disney has reported a total of 221.1 million paying direct-to-consumer subscriptions, equalling Netflix’s total of 220.7 million. The Disney total includes 152 million Disney+ subscriptions, 23 million for ESPN+ and 46 million for Hulu. Also, 58 million of those Disney+ subscriptions are in India and generate an average of $1.20 a month each (compared with the rest of Disney+ paying $6.30).

Filming has begun in Liverpool on a new drama for Paramount+, a prequel to the 2000 film Sexy Beast.

BBC News

BBC staff face 70 redundancies if the plan to merge two rolling news channels goes ahead. Ofcom, however, will, “if necessary, take steps” to ensure the merged BBC News channel continues to compete fairly and deliver for UK audiences. The regulator added: “We have not yet seen detailed delivery plans for the merged channel and how the BBC will continue to serve UK audiences and deliver its remit.”

The BBC has reported record numbers of iPlayer viewers for the second quarter of the year. Dramas including Peaky Blinders and Killing Eve, and events such as Glastonbury, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the Eurovision Song Contest, led to programmes being streamed more than 1.6 billion times between April and June.

Sport has fared well on the BBC this summer. The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games were streamed more than 57 million times, while England’s victory over Germany in the final of the Women’s Euro 2022 attracted a peak TV audience of 17.4 million on BBC One, making it the most-watched women’s football match on UK television and the most-watched programme of the year so far. The game was streamed a further 5.9 million times across the iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app.

And finally…

  • Former BBC presenter Emily Maitlis delivered the keynote speech, the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture, at this year’s Edinburgh TV Festival.
  • Amol Rajan will be the new host of University Challenge, taking over from Jeremy Paxman from autumn 2023.
  • ITV and NFL have announced a three-year partnership to bring the sport to free-to-air TV in the UK and Ireland. In another three-year, free-to-air deal, ITV will show LaLiga football live, and the broadcaster will also show the match between England, the women’s European champions, and the USA, the world champions, on Friday 7 October.
  • ITV Studios has launched its Disabled Writers in Development programme, aiming to “elevate the talent pool of disabled writers to prepare them to be commissioned by ITV and the wider industry”. The scheme will be paid for through the £500,000 Diversity Development Fund which was also created to develop new ideas and talent.
  • Apple, the BBC, Disney and Channel4 are among the major companies who have signed Equity’s Anti-Bullying and Harassment pledge.
  • Aria Studios, a major new £1.6 million facility, is to open later this year on Anglesey, north Wales.