Gone are the days when you were one of two types of TV viewer – BBC or ITV. Beeb fans were considered a bit cultured while commercial TV viewers a bit more fun loving. But 30 years on you are now likely to be defined as belonging to one of six ‘TV Tribes’.
That’s according to Freesat, which has sought the help of Exeter University to find out all about our TV habits.
The TV-related behaviour of 2,000 Britons was analysed for The Joy of Sets – a Freesat study to measure the changing influence of TV in households across the country.
And the results show that not only is the influence of TV greater than ever before but it’s no longer viewed for just entertainment alone. We watch so we can talk about it – and when we’re not talking about it, TV is inspiring us to make new friends, try new hobbies and even change jobs or find love.
Whatever you watch, you are a member of a new TV Tribe. So which are you in?
TVangelists have a morning to night appetite for consuming shows and often text or Tweet their friends whilst watching. You’ll recognise them among your friends as their conversations are full of stories from soaps to the antics of celebrities – making them a God-send for fan clubs. They’re often considered ‘early adopters’ because of their use of new technology and the way they embrace new TV programmes. Broadband offers them an essential way to catch up on favourite programmes and they’re often found watching TV at irregular hours, going to channels others dare not to.
Most likely to watch: Glee, Coronation Street, X factor, Strictly Come Dancing, The Apprentice, Friends and re-runs of Dynasty on CBS
Discerning Discoverers favour educational programmes from the arts, to culture and travel and are fans of David Attenborough and Michael Palin. They are often forced to watch their favourite TV on catch-up as their choices aren’t shared by the rest of the family. Discerning Discoverers tend to emerge more during a recession when they crave ‘quality’ programmes to escape them away from everyday life and broaden their horizons. They are usually happy with a diet of BBC2, 3, and 4.
Most likely to watch: Countryfile, Time Team, David’s Attenborough’s First Life, A Place in the Sun: Home or Away and Iron Chef on Food Network.
Irritating Interrupters are those people who love chattering the whole way through others’ TV viewing, regardless of what’s on the box. They can’t help breaking the unspoken rules that come with watching different types of programme; making noise during the FA Cup is expected, whereas Downton Abbey requires silence so you can closely follow the drama. Irritating Interrupters feel an unstoppable urge to offer their point of view no matter what. Their need to compete with an authoritative documentary voice-over, for instance, is overwhelming.
Most likely to watch: Anything they have no interest in but will spoil for others by talking all the time.
The Sofa Snob is one of those people who feel superior to others who just want to relax in front of the TV, or watch what they believe are ‘all the wrong programmes’. They can have “Interrupter” tendencies and come in all sorts of guises – politicos who admire Jeremy Paxman, culture vultures who love arts programmes and talk about Wallander, and Film4 fans who will insist on watching (and talking over) French films with subtitles.
Most likely to watch: Any Human Heart, University Challenge, Antiques Roadshow, Newsnight, Relocation Relocation
Forthright Followers are Sofa Snobs with a difference. They will seriously tell you that The Simpsons is the best series ever made, or that Laurel and Hardy could never ever be surpassed. You can otherwise spot them as that friend who suddenly discovers football or cricket and develops an enthusiasm for watching every match on the box as a result.
Most likely to watch: Mad Men, Re-runs of The Good Life, The Simpsons, 60 Minute Makeover, The Cube, westerns on Movies4Men.
Nowaday Nostalgics value TV that has a link to yesteryear – either because of a programme’s actual age or subject matter – to feed a romantic belief they have of the past as a better place. You’re most likely to meet a Nowaday Nostalgic at a friend’s dinner party, where they’ll recall their love of silver screen classics they’ve recorded from More4 in the afternoon; they also follow the Antiques Road Show and Vintage TV, and avidly listen to BBC Radio 7.
Most likely to watch: Heartbeat, Downton Abbey, Countdown, The Waltons on True Entertainment, Vintage Icons on Vintage TV.
Which tribe do you belong in? Leave your comments below and let us know.Join TVScoop on Facebook for exclusive competitions and gossip