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Comfort time, mistletoe and wine

It’s that time of year again... you refuse to say no to another mince pie and convince yourself that you will use the miniature screw drivers before never seeing them again. However, there is one important event on the Christmas agenda that cannot be forgotten and that’s carefully navigating your way through the vast ocean that is Christmas TV.

In these turbulent times of crisis, we can always be sure to turn to TV to keep the Christmas spirit alive. The viewing speaks for itself, as last year, over the week of Christmas (25th to 31st), people spent an average of 4 hours and 7 minutes per day watching TV and 4 hours 55 minutes on Christmas day itself.

Our latest piece of research, ‘The Age of Television’ by MTM, identified the 8 need states TV helps to satisfy. The most relevant need state to Christmas TV viewing is probably the Comfort need state. 97% of Comfort viewing is shared viewing and what better time to share some TV viewing than at Christmas.

This is supported by BARB data. On Christmas Day last year 73% of live TV viewing was shared, compared to 47% for the rest of the year. It’s also worth noting that 92% of Comfort viewing is viewed on the TV set, the communal screen around which families across the country will gather to put their feet up and watch the Christmas fare.

Let’s have a gander at some of last year’s Christmas shows we watched together. On Christmas Day, Channel 4’s The Great Christmas Bake Off saw 88% of all live viewing being shared. ITV also hit us right in the Crimbo feels with Santa Claus: The Movie as 84% of those watching live also watched with others. And Channel 5 threw us right back to 1968 with the all-time festive classic, Oliver!, which enjoyed 81% shared viewing.

It seems there might be something about cheeseboards and Lynx Africa gift sets that bring us together around the TV, with adults last year watching 42 minutes more TV in the week of Christmas (25th to 31st) compared to the rest of the year. 16-34s followed suit, with their viewing increasing by an average of 40 minutes. In fact, Christmas week TV reached 55.3 million people in the UK – 92.3% of the population.

It is clear there is a relationship between comfort and TV, and this relationship comes to the fore during the festive season. Christmas is a time of contentment and happiness. TV allows us to kick back and share quality time with those who matter most, in the warmth of our own homes. TV lets us nestle perfectly in the festive bubble, escaping from everyday life. Who knows, maybe Remainers and Leavers can settle their differences over The Great Christmas Bake Off. After all, who doesn’t love a croissant?

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