World Facts

Which Country Watches the Most TV?

Ten countries spend an average of at least 200 minutes watching television each day.

Television (TV) has been a popular form of telecommunication and mass media since it became widely available in many developed countries after the Second World War. In fact, nearly 80% of homes around the world owned a television in 2013. However, increased global internet accessibility and the introduction of new means of consuming media may challenge the dominance of the traditional television. Watching TV has seasonal shifts, with a peak during the winter season. The top-ranking countries in TV consumption of highlighted below.

Countries That Watch the Most TV

United States

Americans watch more television than any other country in the world. So how much do they watch? It is estimated that Americans spend 270 minutes per day watching TV. Despite an observed decline due to online streaming options, Americans still rank first in terms of television watched. Interestingly, youths watch less TV than older segments of the population. The United States has numerous TV channels and subchannels that feature content such as news, sports, children's programs, religion, and outdoor life.

Poland

Poland ranks second in average time spent watching television. The average time spent watching TV in Poland is 264 daily minutes per viewer. This figure only includes live television and excludes previously recorded programs. There are few public channels, but numerous privately-owned stations were created after the fall of communism, and have customized content that suits viewer needs.

Japan

Television in Japan dates back to 1924, and since then Japanese engineers and electronic companies have been involved in numerous technological advancements, including the development of high definition TV (HDTV) during the 1960s. Additionally, the relative affordability of televisions has contributed to most homes owning a TV. On average, the Japanese population spends 262 minutes per day watching TV.

Brazil

The amount of television watched in Brazil has increased significantly since the country's initial broadcast in 1950. There are now hundreds of channels available to view at any time of day, making it easy to watch lots of television. Brazilians currently spend an average of 254 minutes per day watching TV. 

Russia

Television is a very popular medium of communication in Russia. 74% of the population watch national TV routinely, and Russia has over 3,300 TV channels, some of which are broadcast in local languages. Viewers in Russians spend an average of 248 minutes per day watching TV, which ranks fifth in the world.

Other Top-Ranking TV Viewing Countries

Italy ranks sixth, with an average of 248 minutes per day spent watching TV. The average in Spain is 233 minutes, while 223 minutes of television is watched each day in both France and Germany. The United Kingdom ranks tenth, as viewers spend a daily average of 212 minutes watching TV.

Factors Contributing to High Levels of TV Watching

The liberalization of television channels has led to the widespread consumption of TV news. There is also now a more global distribution of networks through digital, satellite, and cable television. The amount of TV watched has also been boosted by the increased variety and availability of programs that suit different interests. Expanded broadcasting hours, as some networks operate 24 hours each day, helps increase the number of people watching television. Additionally, many households have more than one TV set and channels now offer programming in more languages. 

TV Consumption by Country

Rank´╗┐CountryAverage Time Spent Watching TV (Daily Minutes)
1United States270
2Poland264
3Japan262
4Brazil254
5Russia248
6Italy248
7Spain233
8France223
9Germany223
10United Kingdom212

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