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Rockin’ around the Christmas TV

Whilst the results show families will be brought together through communal viewing, for some, TV is more important than food or family: 22% would rather go without Christmas lunch or their family than TV*. Over a third of people (35%) admit they will look at some sort of device during Christmas lunch – with 16% expecting this to be a smartphone and 15% a TV.

The research of 2,005 Brits also found that:

  • 87% think they will watch TV at some point on Christmas day
  • Nearly a third of us (32%) will have the TV switched on for 4 – 8 hours on Christmas day and 18% will have it on for over eight hours
  • We’re switching off the Queen’s Speech – 63% won’t be watching this year
  • And Her Majesty is being replaced by Christmas blockbusters – 70% of us will be watching up to two films and one in ten (11%) will be watching three or four
  • Kids are the boss when it comes to the remote control – 12% say juniors have the final say on what to watch, followed by Mum and Dad – granny and granddad hardly get a look in
  • Most would feel upset if they lost TV signal on Christmas Day (56%)

Second screening is one of the big trends of 2013 and at800 research found that:

  • Second screening will be less prevalent on Christmas day as families look to spend more time engaged with each other and their chosen TV programme
  • Despite the proliferation of smart devices now available, we favour traditional viewing habits during the festive period. Most of us will be watching Christmas programmes on our TV (94%) instead of laptops, tablets, PCs and smartphones

Ben Roome, chief executive of at800, said, “TV is a major part of the Christmas experience; it’s the hub for many people’s celebrations. We’re able to confirm that no new 4G at 800 MHz masts will be switched on over the Christmas period**.”

If viewers do experience new disruption to their Freeview service from January 2014 (particularly if they have received a postcard from at800) they should contact at800 by phone on 0808 13 13 800 (free from landlines, mobile costs vary) or via

About at800

at800 is the consumer brand of Digital Mobile Spectrum Ltd. (DMSL), the organisation responsible for ensuring people continue to receive free-to-air television when 4G mobile services operating at 800 MHz are launched. The organisation is funded by the UK mobile operators with 800 MHz spectrum allocations to provide 4G services – EE, Telefónica UK (O2), Three and Vodafone.

4G enables mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablet PCs to access the internet at super-fast speeds and is expected to bring innovations in business, entertainment, education and public services. 4G mobile services at 800 MHz and digital TV operate in adjacent parts of the radio spectrum. Equipment that receives television signals, such as aerials, amplifiers and digital tuners, can fail to block 4G at 800 MHz. This can cause loss of sound, blocky images or loss of some or all Freeview channels. Freeview is the television that viewers receive through their aerial. BT Vision, YouView, TalkTalk and Top Up TV also provide Freeview services. Only new 4G services at 800 MHz could cause problems with Freeview; existing 4G services from EE operate at 1800 MHz and do not disrupt television reception. Satellite and cable TV services are unlikely to be affected by 4G at 800 MHz.

at800 will contact those households it predicts may be affected by this issue before 4G at 800 MHz is switched on in their area. It will also contact businesses, social housing departments, care homes, hospitals, schools and colleges to advise what action needs to be taken.


Tel: +44 (0) 7539 231 897


Notes to editors

*Of the 2,005 UK adults (aged 18+) asked, 1,745 say they think they will watch TV this Christmas Day. Of those who think they will watch TV this Christmas Day, respondents were asked – ‘If you had to pick, which one of the following would you rather be without on Christmas Day?’ Out of the options listed, 11% say lunch, 66% say TV, 11% say family and 12% say they don’t know.


**freeze on activation of new 4G at 800 MHz masts from Friday 20 December 2013 to Friday 3 January 2014.

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