Irish paid TV customers have an average of 155 channels, but the majority (65%) watch less than a quarter of what they pay for, according to new research from independent and impartial price comparison and switching service, Switcher.ie.
The findings suggest that households could be throwing money away, shelling out for services that they are barely using. The standard (non-discounted) cost of TV packages ranges from over €350 to €1,000 a year, but just 2% of customers say they watch more than three-quarters of the channels they pay for, while one in ten (9%) watch between half and three-quarters.
Despite this, we are still a nation of avid TV watchers. The average Irish consumer watches 13 hours per week, while one in five (21%) settles in for a whopping 21 hours or more of TV viewing every week. This suggests that we’re returning to the same channels again and again, indicating that the TV packages we are paying for might not be the right ones for our viewing habits or needs.
In terms of how we watch, live TV is still prominent, with two in five of us (42%) watching the majority of our TV this way. Almost a quarter of us (21%) mainly watch free-to-air TV. At the same time, habits are clearly changing, with one in five (21%) saying the majority of TV they watch is recorded onto a set-top box. Other more recent innovations are also gaining ground – one in ten (11%) now watch the majority of their TV content via paid streaming services – like Netflix – and 5% say they mostly watch free streaming services, like the RTÉ or TV3 players.
The findings show that Irish consumers today relish the opportunity of watching TV where and when they want, with the majority of people using multi-room viewing (65%), and pause, rewind, record functionality (58%) on a daily basis. One in four (25%) say they watch free box sets with their TV package every day, while one in five (20%) watch catch-up TV daily.
Eoin Clarke, Managing Director of Switcher.ie, said: “These findings confirm that watching TV remains one of our favourite past-times. New technologies and enhanced TV packages mean that we are enjoying greater control and choice than ever before, but not everyone is making the most out of it or getting real value for money. While it’s all well and good having a TV package with hundreds of channels, if you always find yourself watching the same few shows, it could be time to review your options.
“Everyone knows the annoyance of trudging through dozens of channels and still feeling like there’s nothing on. Going from a bells and whistles package to a more basic offering could save you hundreds of euro, and some providers also offer free Netflix for the first six months of your TV contract, or cashback when you sign up. If you’re happy with fewer channels, another option would be to consider free-to-air TV. You’ll need some equipment – like an aerial and set-top box – and there are set up costs involved, but you won’t have any ongoing subscription fees.
“If you don’t want to downgrade your TV plan, try to make the most of the freebies available with your current package. Many providers now have apps which allow you to tune in or set recordings on the move, and several providers also offer on-demand and exclusive content for their subscribers, which can be a real value-add. The key thing is not to just sit back – if you’re paying for a service, make sure you are getting the best value-for-money that you can.”
To review your TV options visit https://goo.gl/z6LFhf to see what options are available.