REPORT: Canadians watching less TV

Canadians, particularly the young, are watching less homegrown programming these days, according to the government's statistics agency.

Statistics Canada (Statscan) said Friday that the 2004-05 National Hockey League lockout meant Canadian adults spent 37.2% percent of their viewing time on Canadian shows in fall 2004, the last period surveyed, down from 40.2 percent in 2003.

The decline in hockey telecasts due to the NHL labor dispute translated to less Canadian content overall, with indigenous programming on over-the-air TV channels dropping to 54.1 percent in 2004, compared to a year-earlier 56.5 percent. On pay and specialty TV channels, local content fell to 36.8 percent from 44 percent.

The Statscan report also noted that Canadians aged 12 to 17 spent 12.9 hours a week in front of the television in 2004, two hours less than in 2003 and almost three hours less than five years ago. It ascribed the drop to competition from the Internet and other new media platforms.

Men aged 18 to 24 watched the least amount of television at 12.3 hours a week in 2004, while women aged 60 and more watched the most at 35.6 hours a week, Statscan said.

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