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Early BBC television appreciation research

The BBC has combined research into the audience's appreciation of its programmes with data about audience size since the earliest days of television. The first such research was conducted in the summer of 1939 when viewers, estimated to number no more than 20,000-25,000, were invited to apply for a questionnaire. The BBC distributed 4,806 copies; 85 per cent were returned.
       Viewers were asked to indicate the genres of programmes they liked, with the following results, showing the proportion of viewers saying they liked each category.

Studio productions % Outside broadcasts %
Picture Page 92 theatre relays 93
variety 91 ceremonies, etc 89
full-length plays 83 sport 88
demonstrations 80
talks 74 Filmed programmes %
short plays 70 newsreels 93
bands and singers 45 cartoons 82
sports talks 43 English feature films 66
operetta 26 short films 56
ballet 25 continental films 23
music 12


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Page created 8 April 2007
David Fisher