Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

TV Licensing Reveals Perfect Recipe for Stress-Free Christmas TV Viewing

December 13, 2011

LONDON, December 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ –

One in five UK households expect to argue about what to watch on television over the
festive period according to a TV Licensing study, as the official 2011 Christmas TV
schedule goes on sale.

On Christmas Day 2010, the average UK household watched almost eight hours[1] (7 hours
and 45 minutes) of television and this year viewing time is likely to be no different. To
encourage familial cheer and goodwill, TV Licensing [http://twitter.com/tvlicensing ] has
explored people’s festive viewing preferences, and come up with the perfect recipe of TV
programmes to keep everyone happy. Results revealed, for example, the ideal amount of time
to watch comedy specials on Christmas Day is 60 minutes, while it is 40 minutes for soap

To ensure harmonious TV viewing on Christmas Day, you need:

        - A very large scoop (80 mins) of feature films
        - A generous handful (60 mins) of Christmas comedy specials
        - A large cupful (50 mins) of drama / mini-series
        - A small cupful (40 mins) of soap opera
        - A dollop (30 mins) of documentary / factual viewing
        - A dollop (30 mins) of children's TV programmes
        - A spoonful (25 mins) of sport
        - A sprinkling (20 mins) of Queen's Speech

Christmas classics rule the roost for people of all ages. The nation’s favourite
Christmas film is, by a narrow margin, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, with 15% of people saying
it topped their list. ‘Home Alone’ was a close second with 14%, and the 1954 version of
‘White Christmas’ was third (11%). As for Christmas comedy specials, sitcoms from the
nineties and early noughties were much-loved, with one in five people saying Only Fools
and Horses was their favourite, followed by Morecambe and Wise (12%) and The Royle Family

Sports programmes divided the sexes most, with just 31% of women saying they would
watch sport on Christmas Day, compared to 45% of men. The survey also revealed that men
are most likely to be in charge of the remote control over Christmas, with 39% of people
selecting Dads, partners and Grandads as the main culprits.

“The coming together of families and friends to watch television on Christmas Day is
almost as much of a tradition as opening presents or eating turkey. But, with a packed TV
schedule to choose from, it can be difficult to agree on what to watch,” said Farimah
Darbyshire, TV Licensing spokesperson. “Everyone in a household will have their own
favourite programmes, and it is all about compromise.”

“But whatever you choose to watch on television this Christmas, it is important to be
aware of the need to be covered by a valid TV Licence
[http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one ] to watch or record programmes at the
same time as they are shown on TV.”

          i) "We would always prefer people to pay than risk a fine or prosecution,
          and we certainly don't want people to be starting the New Year with a GBP1,000 fine.
          We offer a wide range of payment options to help spread the cost and suit people's
          needs. These can all be set up quickly and easily online at
          http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk or by phone."

          i) While there were some clear winners across the UK, the research also
          showed that:
          ii) While Londoners will be the most combative about the small screen, with one
          in three people in the capital city admitting that they expect to disagree, Welsh
          households are the most relaxed with just 5% saying that there would be fights over
          what to watch.
          iii) Christmas TV isn't a laughing matter for Scots, with over a quarter stating
          they will not be watching any comedy, compared to 16% nationally
          iv) 1 in 4 (23 per cent) of people in Northern Ireland say their all time
          favourite film is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation compared to a national average
          of just 8%. 1 in 5 of people in Wales say their all time favourite film is The Muppet
          Christmas Carol, compared to just 8 per cent nationally.
          v) While old classics Only Fools and Horses and Morecambe and Wise were the
          nation's favourites, Londoner's would rather watch The Office (18%), and in Northern
          Ireland almost 1 in 5 would most like to watch Gavin and Stacey.

Source of research: A survey of 1,000 people by third party research house, OnePoll,
was conducted between November 25 and December 1, 2011.

Notes to Editor:

Who needs a TV Licence?

If you use or install television equipment to receive or record television programmes
as they are being shown on TV, you need to be covered by a valid TV Licence. Viewing
television without a licence risks prosecution and a fine of up to GBP1,000. A colour TV
Licence currently cost GBP145.50. A black and white TV Licence currently costs GBP49.00.
Those over 75 are entitled to a free TV Licence.

Paying for a TV Licence:

TV Licensing aims to make it as easy as possible for people to buy a TV Licence, which
is why there are many different ways to pay. They include:

        - Direct Debit - monthly, quarterly or annual Direct Debit payment schemes
          are available and can be set up online at http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/directdebit
        - Over-the-counter - people can now pay at 23,000 PayPoint outlets across the
        - Debit or credit card over the phone - this facility accepts payment from a
          range of debit cards including Maestro, Delta and Connect
        - By post - send a cheque made payable to TV Licensing to: TV Licensing, Bristol
          BS98 1TL
        - To find out more about paying in weekly instalments over the counter, online,
          by SMS or by phone on the cash payment plan, call 0300-790-6078 or visit


        - 1. Data sourced from BARB

          i) For more information about any of our payment options and concessions, to
          set up Direct Debit payments or to pay by debit or credit card please visit
          http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk [http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/info ] or call

For more information, or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, please call the
TV Licensing press office on +44(0)20-7544-3144 or email

SOURCE TV Licensing

Source: PR Newswire