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Most Canadians 'binge watching' TV during the pandemic: poll

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73 per cent of Canadians 'binge watched' a show or series in the past year: survey

Research Co. has found more Canadians are turning to streaming services regardless of age

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With more people at home during the pandemic, more Canadians are streaming shows and watching live TV, according to a new poll.

Research Co. conducted a survey earlier this month asking Canadians to describe how they watch TV, and found 73 per cent of people said they had “binge watched,” or watched two or more episodes of a specific series in the same sitting, over the past year.

Mario Canseco, president of Research Co. says more Canadians are turning to streaming services, like Netflix or Crave, to enjoy shows regardless of age.

“When we last checked, we definitely saw more young people who are doing this. Because of the pandemic, there’s a whole new audience for people to enjoy this type of situation, and we do see that there’s a significant number of binge watchers across British Columbia,” he says.

“Now that you’re having specific shows that are only produced to be streamed, it’s going to be very complicated for that audience to go back from network television,” Canseco explains. “Because of the pandemic because of the need to be informed and to watch things that are happening live, such as maybe the Oprah interview, you have a situation where there is definitely some balance.”

More Canadians are also watching live TV on a set (35 per cent), which is up 10 points from the poll conducted in 2020.

“The one thing that is really striking compared to last year is how many people are no longer taping network television. One year ago, we had a lot of people who were essentially using their PVR device to watch your show a couple of days afterward or whenever they have time,” Canseco says, adding more people have switched to live TV since they’re at home anyway during the pandemic.

The survey found Canadians spend 19 hours and 35 minutes watching TV on all formats, including cable and streaming, in a typical week.

As for those who are watching the most TV, Canadians aged 55 and older come out on top with 25 hours and 56 minutes a week. People between the ages of 35 to 54 spend 18 hours and 20 minutes, while the 18 to 34 age group totals 13 hours and eight minutes.