TV broadcasting: data and research
Ofcom’s statutory duties include ensuring that:
- a wide range of high-quality television and radio programmes are provided, appealing to a range of tastes and interests;
- television and radio services are provided by a range of different organisations;
- people who watch television and listen to the radio are protected from harmful or offensive material; and
- people are protected from being treated unfairly in television and radio programmes, and from having their privacy invaded.
To provide us with the evidence we need to carry out these duties, we carry out and publish market and consumer research, and collect data.
This independent report by Ampere Analysis for Ofcom looks at developments in the sport media rights market.
How audiences watch sport is changing. To help Ofcom understand the potential implications of commercial and technological developments for audiences, we commissioned Ampere Analysis to take an in-depth look at the media rights market for sporting events.
The report draws on Ampere’s own data, as well as viewing trends, desk research and industry stakeholder interviews to offer insight in a range of areas including:
- How media rights for sporting events are licensed;
- The changing value of rights over the last decade; and
- Developing trends such as the growth of events shared between broadcasters and the increasing importance of rights to show clips and highlights online.
The report also considers the implications of these changes on the listed events regime administered by Ofcom.
Warning: this report contains offensive language, graphic descriptions of content and viewpoints which may cause offence.
Ofcom commissioned Ethnic Dimension to conduct research to help them understand the experiences and expectations of audiences watching or listening to channels and stations aimed at ethnic minority communities.
The research explored participants’ attitudes towards content standards and their experiences of programmes and focussed on “generally accepted standards”, including Ofcom’s rules on harm and offence and hatred and abuse.
The research involved online video sessions with members of the public from Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Black African and Arabic-speaking backgrounds. Fieldwork was conducted between 23 November 2020 and 25 February 2021.
This report is the first one in fulfilling our new duty under the DEA and provides an assessment of the availability and discoverability of PSB and local TV content. It considers the range of TV platforms and devices that are available, how people watch TV, and how PSB content is discovered – including through channels, video on-demand players (such as BBC iPlayer or All 4) and through individual pieces of content available on-demand, for instance through recommendations or ‘top picks’.
This is the latest report from Ofcom’s annual Diversity in Broadcasting monitoring programme, looking at how well broadcasters are promoting equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion in employment.
We commissioned a Rapid Evidence Assessment (PDF, 687.3 KB) of diversity research on public service broadcasting.
In 2017, Ipsos MORI was commissioned to undertake qualitative research to explore the public’s views of the BBC, and their views on the BBC’s public purposes, with a particular focus on distinctiveness.
Under the Communications Act 2003, certain television broadcasters licensed by Ofcom are required to provide a proportion of their programming with access services (subtitling, signing and audio description).
Ofcom also conducts a wide array of research into access technology and experiences.
Access and inclusion Mar 2017
Our 2017 pricing report investigated trends in the prices available to consumers for residential communications services.
Our media use and attitudes research explores people's perceptions and behaviours around TV broadcasting, including their devices and their viewing habits.
Beyond Broadcast consumer research Jul 2015
Our annual Made outside of London TV programming report sets out the titles of programmes that the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 certified were ‘Made outside London’ (MOL) productions broadcast during the previous year.
One of Ofcom's important responsibilities is to set standards for offensive language in TV and radio content. Our research aims to assess how perceptions of this language differs based on context, and by different demographic groups.
Language and Sexual Imagery in Broadcasting: A contextual Investigation Published: Sep 2005
In carrying out its duties Ofcom seeks to ensure that sexual material is editorially justified, appropriately scheduled and, where necessary, access is restricted to adults.
The promotion of adult sexual entertainment and psychic premium rate telephone services on television Essential Research, Oct 2009
Attitudes towards Sexual Material on Television Research report by Opinion Leader, Jun 2009
Language and Sexual Imagery in Broadcasting: A contextual Investigation Published: Sep 2005
This 2014 research, commissioned by Ofcom, is on consumer attitudes and trends in violence shown on UK TV programmes.
Research on violence on TV Jul 2014
We have researched the frequency of disruption experienced by viewers across all platforms, as well as the type of disruption experienced by DTT viewers (using rooftop aerials).
Ofcom Coverage Factsheets Mar 2008
The Communications Market Report is Ofcom's annual statistical survey of developments in the UK communications sector, including TV broadcasting.
Our research, reports and updates followed the completion of the UK switchover to digital terrestrial television.
Digital Television Update - 2012 Q4 Apr 2013
Digital Television Update - 2011 Q1 Jul 2011
Digital Television Update - 2010 Q4 Apr 2011
Digital Television Update - 2010 Q1 Jul 2010
Digital Television Update - 2010 Q3 Jun 2010
Digital switchover: A number of research reports on digital TV switchover, published between 2004 and 2010
Digital Television Update - 2009 Q3 Dec 2009
Digital Television Update - 2009 Q2 Sep 2009
Digital Television Update - 2009 Q1 Jun 2009
Digital Television Update - 2008 Q4 Apr 2009
Consumer expectations in relation to 3 and 6 multiplex digital terrestrial television coverage i2 media research Ltd. Feb 2009
Digital Television Update - 2008 Q3 Dec 2008
Digital Television Update - 2008 Q2 Oct 2008
Digital Television Update - 2008 Q1 Jul 2008
Digital Television Update - 2007 Q3 Dec 2007
Digital Television Update - 2007 Q2 Sep 2007
Digital Television Switchover and Disabled, Older, Isolated and Low Income consumersresearch by i2 media research Ltd. Jun 2007
Digital Television Update - 2007 Q1 Jun 2007
New News, Future News Jun 2007
Easy-to-use digital television receivers: remote control buttons and functions used by different types of consumer (519 kB) Prepared for Ofcom by i2 media research ltd. Apr 2007
Digital Television Update - 2006 Q4 Mar 2007
Digital Television Update - 2006 Q3 Dec 2006
Digital Television Update - 2006 Q2 Oct 2006
Digital Progress Report - 2006 Q1 Jun 2006
Digital Television Update - 2005 Q3 Dec 2005
Digital Television Update - 2005 Q2 Sep 2005
Digital Television Update - 2005 Q1 Jun 2005
Digital Television Update - 2004 Q4 Mar 2005
Digital Television Update - 2004 Q3 Dec 2004
Digital Television Update - 2004 Q2 Sep 2004
Digital Television Update - 2004 Q1 Jun 2004
Digital Television Update - 2003 Q4 Dec 2003
Digital Television Update - 2003 Q3 Oct 2003
Ofcom commissioned consumer research into UK adults’ consumption of the the London 2012 Olympic Games on different media and devices, and their reasons for using specific devices.
In accordance with our duty to protect young people, we have conducted research into the effects TV broadcasting can have on children, such as privacy considerations and quality of content.
Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs on Television: A content analysis Sept 2005
A safe environment for children Sept 2005
The Public Service Broadcasting annual report provides information about how the television public service broadcasters are performing in terms of delivering public service programmes.
In December 2005, Ofcom commissioned two reports for the purposes of a review of the cross-promotion rules.
Our research explored the ways news, politics and current affairs are presented through TV broadcasting, and how consumers experience them.
The Provision of Current Affairs Report following symposium on The Future of Current Affairs. Jul 2006
Viewers and Voters: Attitudes to television coverage of the 2005 General Election by ICM Research Ltd, 15 Sept 2005
In 2008, Ofcom commissioned Holden Pearmain to conduct a programme of qualitative research among broadcasters and other key stakeholders with an interest in training in the broadcasting industry (PDF, 88.9 KB).
In 2007 we researched the kind of platforms and equipment households may use to watch television.
HD-ready TV sets Mystery shopping survey. Nov 2007
The aim of this 2006 Programme Information Research was to provide evidence of consumer needs and preferences, and to inform Ofcom’s thinking in this area so as to give guidance to stakeholders.
In 2006, Ofcom commissioned RAND Europe to conduct research with a view to Assessing Indirect Impacts of the EC Proposals for Video Regulation.
This report, published December 2005, studied the representation and portrayal of people with disabilities on analogue terrestrial television.
Statistical and pragmatic information about how TV programmes are produced and funded helped to shape and refine Ofcom's regulatory policies.
A Survey of TV Programme Production in the UK (225 kB) Research published Sept 2005
The Future of Television Funding Research by Human Capital. Published Sept 2005
Extension of the Television Without Frontiers Directive: An Impact Assessment Final report for Ofcom Indepen, Ovum and fathom, Sept 2005
Television Production Sector Review 20 Sept 2005