Key industry players including Chris Botha of the MediaShop, Ahmed Tilly from Black River FC and Aletta Alberts of Multichoice made up the panel of experts who shared their views on the findings of the report.

“Supercharged by the digital age, audiences led by the young and early adopters show an increasing appetite for new TV services and these will complement existing viewing behaviours so that conventional linear television will continue to remain the central part of media consumption,” says Kasia Kieli, president and managing director at Discovery Networks, CEEMEA.

The Discovery Networks report The Rise of the TV Everywhere Audience, in cooperation with The Future Foundation, surveyed 5 000 TV viewers across 10 CEEMEA markets: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine and UAE in addition to in-depth interviews with an expert, industry panel. It explores how television is adapting, evolving and growing to accommodate entirely new viewing behaviours in an increasingly connected, time-precious, fragmented world.

The report revealed that multi-screen living across technology platforms is becoming increasingly commonplace, whilst there is a growing appetite for off-schedule viewing via catch-up TV services. At the same time, there is a rising demand for short-form content that allows viewers to ‘snack’ between bigger TV ‘meals’.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for the TV industry and viewers who are relishing the greater freedom they have to access and interact with content across multi-screens and social media. This study shows people are watching more linear TV than ever before and how traditional TV viewing is being supplemented and enriched with new audience behaviours across CEEMEA markets,” said Kieli.

“We’re seeing an increasing trend towards watching live TV online, using catch-up services, viewing on second screens and interaction with content and friends using social media. At the centre of the viewer experience stands great content with a clear opportunity to reach a larger audience with an increased frequency through continued innovation across both programming and distribution," Kieli concluded.