Northern Ireland’s television and online habits revealed by Ofcom

Ofcom has revealed Northern Ireland’s television and online habits in their latest Communications Market Report. The report, released on 3rd August 2017, provides an overview of communications services across Northern Ireland and monitors key trends in the availability and take-up of digital services across the United Kingdom.

Research was undertaken and included a face-to-face survey of 3,743 respondents aged 16+ in the UK, with 493 interviews being conducted in Northern Ireland across a range of ages, socio-economic groups, geographic locations and gender.

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On-demand viewing

The main findings discovered an increasingly interconnected Northern Ireland, with more people watching TV whenever and wherever they like. It noted that we’ve become a region of binge TV viewers with eight in ten adults watching multiple episodes of our favourite TV shows, in a single sitting. With one-third of households now having a smart TV, people are increasingly turning to catch-up and on-demand streaming services, however, live TV remains the most important source of news for people.

Tech take-up

The report looked at people’s take-up and usage of technology from TV and radio through to post, telecoms and the internet. More than three-quarters of adults in Northern Ireland now own a smartphone, with six in ten of those stating it is their most important device for going online. The survey found that mobile phone users in rural Northern Ireland are less satisfied with their mobile phone reception than those in urban areas.

People in Northern Ireland now spend more than 20 hours every week online. Despite the rise in online activity, traditional media remains popular with people spending more time watching live TV, than engaging in any other communications activity.


89% of adults in Northern Ireland now listen to radio, the highest reach in three years. On average, people spend over 20 hours listening to radio in an average week, an increase of 42 minutes compared to last year.


Invitations, greetings cards and postcards are the most popular items being sent by people in Northern Ireland, posting an average of 2.7 items per month. Not surprisingly, six in ten adults are using e-mail instead of post, compared to two years ago.

To discover the full results, visit Ofcom’s website.

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