Eight in ten (78%) busy Brits multitask while watching TV

Only a fifth (22%) of people settle down to the TV without interruption, reinforcing the rising ‘media meshing’ trend apparent in households today
A recent study undertaken by BT TV examined Britain’s viewing habits, and has proved that we are a nation that cannot sit still. Eight in ten people are distracted by other forms of entertainment and everyday tasks such as responding to emails, reading, internet shopping and online dating.

Challenging some stereotypes around gender related habits, more women (29%) than men (20%) admitted to gaming whilst watching TV, with 13% of men claiming to do the ironing while watching the box. Nearly half the nation (47%) check emails while watching their favourite shows, with a quarter (24%) of 18-24 year olds checking work emails, ranking as the hardest working group of all. 

The research has uncovered a nation of super savvy viewers, whose busy lives eat in to ‘TV time’, enforcing the need for flexible TV scheduling. Over half (51%) of respondents admitted that they don’t have a specific time set aside to watch TV, with one in ten favouring pre-recorded content over live TV, recording the majority (90%) of their total viewing. Over 65s record nearly a third (30%) of their programming to watch at a later date, which is only 6% less than the 18–24 age group.

The need for personalised packages is obvious from further statistics uncovered by the study, which found that 65% of women prefer drama programming, compared to 50% of men, 38% of women prefer soap operas compared to just 18% of men. Typically, more men (33%) prefer sci-fi shows compared to women (22%). 

BT TV features ‘must have’ HD movies, channels and sport and a free YouView box that lets you pause and record so you don’t miss the TV you love.

BT’s core Entertainment pack is just £7 month with BT Infinityᵻ which includes popular pay TV channels like Comedy Central, Discovery and Gold and access to Curzon Home Cinema and BT Box Office, with many films before Netflix and Lovefilm. You can also add Sky Movies, kids channels, HD or music completely flexibly – just give 30 days’ notice and you can cancel at any time. A perfect boost for rainy Sundays and long winter evenings. 

Alex Green, director of TV for BT, said: “We now offer over 100 TV channels, many with a fantastic HD quality experience, including BT Sport. But we know that people don’t want to pay for loads of channels they don’t watch so our kids, HD and movie bolt-ons allow customers to buy what they need, when they need it. We’re also proud to offer the most catch up content of any TV service – so no more schedule clashes.”


Notes to editors

*Research carried out across a nationally representative panel of 2.053 adults by ICM, October 2013
ᵻNot all lines in fibre enabled areas can support the BT Infinity service. Visitwww.bt.com/infinity to see if your line can. 

BT TV Entertainment: 
£35 activation for new TV customers signing up for 12 months, pay £7 a month.  You’ll need a fast enough line, BT Infinity and a BT line. A 10m cable will be provided or you’ll be charged £35 if an engineer install is needed. You’ll get a YouView box (unless you’re taking Sky Sports too) but if you stop your service in the first year we will charge you up to £299. You’ll need to pay by Direct Debit. Availability of digital channels and quality of content depends on local transmitter and suitable rooftop aerial (www.freeview.co.uk/availability). We’ll charge you for on demand content and HD/box office films not included in your bolt-on(s). Subject to availability. Bolt-ons: Available on a 1 month minimum term. Monthly charge of £3 Music on demand / £5 Film & TV Box Sets on demand / £3 HD Extra channels / £3 Kids Extra channels. HD on demand requires suitable HDMI cable, a HD ready TV and 5Mbps minimum line speed for streaming. Curzon Home Cinema: Offers selection of films for £10 each on same day as cinema release. Film can be viewed multiple times within 7 days of purchase. Terms apply.

Additional stats:
Top five most popular TV genres

  1. Drama (58%)
  2. Factual/Documentary (55%)
  3. Comedy (50%)
  4. Sport (31%)
  5. Soaps (28%)

Top five favourite TV themes
Only Fools & Horses stands test of time, despite no new episodes being aired for 22 years, it gets twice as many votes as current favourite Downton Abbey


  1. Only Fools and Horses (14%)
  2. Friends (11%)
  3. Downton Abbey (6%)
  4. Strictly Come Dancing (4%)
  5. Eastenders (3%)

Top five most popular film genres:



  1. Action/thriller (55%)
  2. Drama (50%)
  3. Comedy (50%)
  4. Sci-fi (33%)
  5. Factual/Documentary (28%)

Mums’ top five favourite film genres:



  1. Action/thriller (50%)
  2. Comedy (44%)
  3. Drama (35%)
  4. Horror (30%)
  5. Rom Com (27%)

Dads’ top five favourite film genres:



  1. Action/thriller (68%)
  2. Comedy (59%)
  3. Sci fi (48%)
  4. Drama (36%)
  5. Factual/Documentary (29%)