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UK's love for TV just grows and grows

LONDON - The UK is leading the world in TV viewing growth and digital TV take-up, and Europe when it comes to text messaging, according to an Ofcom report released today.

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The broadcast regulator's International Communications Market data looked at 12 major economies from 2003 to 2008, as well those of Brazil, Russia, India and China (The Bric economies).

The research found average TV viewing increased by 1.1% to four hours a day in 2008, across the included nations, with the UK average up by 3.2% to 3.8 hours a day, the largest increase of any of the nations.

US viewers watched the most television, at 4.6 hours per day, while Sweden watched the least, consuming just 2.7 hours.

At 88% in 2008, up 3% on the previous 12 months, the UK also had the highest proportion of primary TV sets that had been converted to digital.

Spain had the fastest rate of conversion, with 18% of households switching to digital in 2008.

The also report said a total of 1.1 trillion text messages were sent by the 11 countries in the group for which figures were available. The figure is the equivalent of 123 SMS messages per month for every mobile subscription.

The UK sent the second highest number of texts in 2008, 83 billion, but this was dwarfed by the US where 830 billion messages were sent.

When averaged against the nation's number of mobile subscribers, UK texters only managed to rank fourth with 92 per subscriber. Ireland, at 163, was the leading European nation, ahead of Poland at 150. US consumers managed to send 262 messages per person.

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