Ahead of broadband launch Sky reveals Ireland is a watch-and-tweet TV nation

4 Feb 2013

Just ahead of the launch of new broadband and phone services this week, Sky has revealed new research that shows 50pc of the adult population of Ireland juggle other online devices and services while watching live TV. The research also found that Irish people spend seven hours and 34 minutes on social media (Facebook and Twitter) per week.

Sky will launch its new DSL broadband services this Thursday in collaboration with BT. A new customer service centre set up specifically to support the launch of broadband in Ireland will employ 800 people in Dublin.

On average, Irish adults spend nine hours a day browsing the internet and several hours a week streaming TV shows and movies.

The research by Amárach on behalf of Sky found that 50pc of Irish adults use multiple channels to access, comment on and share their content while watching TV.

Up to 70pc of adults comment on Facebook and Twitter, while almost half send texts about what they are watching.

Some 71pc of adults rank on-demand viewing amongst their top 3 TV features, the Amárach research claims, followed by multi-room and HD.

The research found that two-thirds of Irish adults watch TV online, with seven out of 10 watching it on their laptops or smartphones.

Nine in 10 homes have access to a laptop while only five out of 10 bother with desktops. Tablet ownership is forecast to increase by 20pc in 2013, with half of homes expecting to acquire a tablet by the end of 2013.

Promise of a new era of clarity on broadband speeds and prices

Not surprisingly, the research found that 40pc of Irish adults judge current broadband packages as confusing, and 51pc don’t know what broadband speed they receive even though 93pc consider it to be a key factor when choosing broadband.

This is mostly likely due to the lack of penalties being imposed on broadband providers and telcos for advertising broadband speeds that are ‘up to’ a certain speed rather than publishing the real scenarios that come with contention ratios in areas where people are sharing connections off the street.

In the UK, broadband providers are not permitted to advertise ideal ‘up to’ speeds and instead are regulated to promote realistic speeds.

“While online interaction with TV content is increasingly important in Ireland, the research suggests there is confusion about what’s on offer from broadband providers,” said JD Buckley, managing director of Sky Ireland.  

“With the launch this week of Sky Broadband & Talk services, we are going to change this by bringing real clarity to the Irish market and delivering great value. We’re confident that consumers will respond to the simplicity and convenience of our offering,” Buckley said.

Web meets TV image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years