People plan to watch more TV at Christmas

LONDON - A third of television viewers claim they will be staying in and watching TV more this Christmas than last year, according to an ITV survey.

Dancing on Ice: ITV to screen Christmas special
Dancing on Ice: ITV to screen Christmas special

The increase of online catch-up TV will boost TV viewing over Christmas, the survey found. Of the 2,805 viewers surveyed, 40% claimed to watch TV on computers, laptops or handheld devices, while one in three said they would be staying in and watching more TV this Christmas than last year.

The survey coincides with ITV's renaming of the video-on-demand section of ITV.com to ITV Player, which allows users to view a selection of ITV shows for 30 days.

ITV claims that the player's average number of plays per month has increased by 251% since the start of the year, while ITV.com had 15.7 million video views in November, up almost 600% year on year.

Dominic Cameron, managing director of ITV.com, said he was optimistic about ITV hitting its target of generating £150m of online revenue by 2012. "Obviously, this recession is not going to last forever," he said. "If you look at the changing behaviour of consumers, it is very exciting.

Cameron said ITV would experiment with new online ad formats in 2009, including video overlays.

According to the survey, ITV's most popular shows over Christmas will include A Touch of Frost, Coronation Street, Creature Comforts and Dancing on Ice Christmas Special.

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