Brits to make most of online TV this Christmas header image

Published: 11th Dec 2013

A new survey has shown more people than ever are going to watch their Christmas TV online.

Independent research conducted by Virgin Media found 33 per cent of Britons will watch the majority of their festive programming via on-demand services like Sky Go, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and 4oD.

In fact, a further 14 per cent will view more than three-quarters of their Christmas television through online portals.

But this requires a sizable internet bandwidth connection and rural residents have regularly complained they do not have access to broadband services fast enough to watch TV online - something that government initiatives have so far failed to address.

One ideal solution to this problem is to adopt satellite broadband, which can maintain speeds of up to 20 Mbps, more than enough for any family's streaming needs. Not only is this relatively cheap and easy to set up, it also avoids much of the slowdown experienced in higher traffic time periods on wired services.

When it comes to what people will be watching this Christmas, some ten per cent of the 2,000 surveyed said they will sit down around a copy of the Radio Times and decide whether to watch Doctor Who, Downton Abbey or Coronation Street, which have their festive specials on at similar times.

Scott Kewley, director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, stated: "The Radio Times is a Christmas institution, but thanks to the power of connectivity, we're less tied to the times top shows are aired. 

"Everyone wants to discover and watch the top Christmas shows, which is why we let customers record three channels whilst watching two more, so no one will miss out on their Christmas TV favourites this year."

The high number of people who will be watching TV online is evidence of the growing popularity of on-demand and catch-up services. The leading example of this technology is arguably the BBC's iPlayer, which received 261 million unique requests to stream or download a programme in October.