Students prefer free online television, says university discussion

Students would rather watch television for free and online, rather than using the traditional methods of terrestrial television, according to a focus group’s discussion last night. The debate took place in the University of Lincoln’s main building  and was part of a research project for Media, Culture, and Communications with Advertising students.

Lloyd Allington, who hosted the focus group, said he decided to have a discussion on online television because: “It is a new technology that has had a big effect on broadcasting and people’s consuming habits and we felt it was something that students will be able to relate to because it is quite a young person’s thing.”

Allington, 20, was not surprised by the conclusions the focus group came to: “People generally think the same way. We’re all students so we all think similarly. We all have our suspicions about what people think and it has pretty much confirmed what we thought.”

When asked if they would pay the TV licence, if it were optional, said they would not because the BBC does not provide them with programming they enjoy, with the exception of Eastenders. It was also argued “why pay for something when you can get it for free?”

The group said they would prefer to watch television for longer features but, if it was a choice between going out or staying in for a programme, they would prefer to go out and catch up later using online, on-demand services. There was only one person present at the focus group who said they watched television purely using the traditional methods.

The participants also admitted to downloading programmes, but they would legally download programmes that were made in the UK whilst illegally downloading American shows. This, they argued, is down to US television not being available worldwide and people not willing to wait for the transition of shows from America to the UK.

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