Supplementary written evidence submitted by BBC Cymru Wales


Following the meeting with representatives from Ofcom last week, I thought it might be useful to share some of the analysis into the audience figures which are listed in the BBC’s Annual Report for 21/22 relating to Wales, which were discussed during the course of the meeting.

As quoted during the meeting, the length of time adults in TV homes in Wales spent with BBC TV per head on average per week during 21/22 fell by 90 minutes, from 9 hours and 15 minutes to 7 hours and 45 minutes – a decrease of 17% while the average decrease across the UK was 12%.

The main reason for this was due to the fact that the previous year’s figures in Wales – of 9 hours 15 minutes were exceptional, in the main due to the changes in audience habits as a result of the pandemic where we saw consumption increase. The 19/20 time spent watching BBC television in Wales was 8 hours 30 minutes.

This point around the exceptional nature of this period is also evidenced in Ofcom’s analysis of the relevant period. For 2022, the regulator found in its study of media consumption in Wales that broadcast television viewing was falling from its ‘pandemic peak’.[1]

Whilst there is no clear reason why the proportional decrease was greater in Wales than the rest of the UK nations, it should also be noted that viewing in Wales was higher during 2021/22  than the UK average

We also, of course, acknowledge that audience habits are changing dramatically with viewers turning to programmes on-demand rather than linear viewing. Between 2020/2021 and 2021/22, the consumption of BBC content by signed-in users in Wales increased by 8% - from 231.1m annual requests to 250.8m.[2]

Overall, 72% of people (4+) continue to watch BBC TV every week and 90% use the BBC’s services including BBC iPlayer, radio and online on a weekly basis in Wales.

This consumption data is an important tool in monitoring audience behaviour and we scrutinise the data rigorously as part of our audience analysis. However, it’s also important to consider the  attitudinal or perception data within the BBC Annual Report for the 21/22 period which notes 71% of adults in Wales think the BBC informs, educates and entertains in line with its mission.


5 May 2023

[1] Ofcom Media Nations: Wales, 2022, p.4 pdf

[2] BBC internal analysis