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January 21, 2011

Why Sky EPG Changes Won’t Shake Viewing Habits

To see if viewing habits changed 6 weeks later, read my follow-up blog post

BSkyB recently announced that they are moving some channels further up the listings of their electronic programming guide (EPG).

According to Broadband TV News, this is the biggest reshuffle in EPG places for over a decade, with MTV, Comedy Central, Universal, Syfy, FX, and 40 HD channels moving to more prominent places.

We already know the EPG is a central part of the TV viewing experience.

According to recent TV Genius Research, 81% of Continental Europeans frequently used their EPG, with that number rising to 96% in the UK.

However, the EPG has comparatively little influence over content discovery.

Our research results showed that although consumers are largely using the EPG when watching television, it has comparatively little influence over the content they choose.

Instead, content discovery is primarily influenced by traditional media such as newspapers and magazines, as well as online sources and TV trailers.

While traditional media remain dominant over consumer decision making, newer media are also having an emerging influence, especially among younger generations.

Of the 18-24 year olds surveyed, 20% said that trailers are the most influential factor over what they watch, while 11% preferred online sources. Only 12% of 18-24 year olds said magazines were the most influential factor over their decision making. This compares to 44% of over-55s influenced by magazines, and only 9% saying trailers and 6% using online.

So even though MTV is may be located in a new place in the Sky EPG, it doesn’t mean more people will suddenly start watching.

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