Commercial tv reports on programmes for healthier lifestyles across Europe

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Brussels, 3 April – Commercial broadcasters recognise the importance of television as the main medium to mobilise a mass audience and to reach all parts of society.

In the context of the European Commission’s Platform on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, the Association of Commercial Television reports today on programmes related to health across Europe.

Ross Biggam, ACT Director General, said:
Our contribution to the EU action against obesity and unhealthy lifestyles is about what we do best: delivering high-quality audiovisual content which engages with our viewers to improve their lifestyles, encourage them to take up sport and cook healthily.”

The report delivers results of monitoring programmes in 2011 and it contains comprehensive data about the audience share, target group, transmission time, length and number of episodes. Answering to the demand from the Commission about programming in smaller countries, the report focuses on markets which were not represented in the previous editions: Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania, and Slovakia.

The figures confirm a continuous interest of European audience in various formats related to health: morning talk-shows, documentaries, cooking competitions, programmes with medical advices or contest shows. ACT members reported about successful formats in their countries. For instance, M6 told us about the success of cooking shows in France and TVI reported about the importance of health topics in daily talk shows, documentaries or in TVI’s 24-hour news channel in Portugal.

The demand for programmes on healthy lifestyle is tangible also in Lithuania. MTG described a range of their healthy format and confirmed that local programming about lifestyle and health choices was a key element in marketing strategy for launch of TV8, a new MTG’s channel in Lithuania.

ACT members also engage in various campaigns within their Corporate Social Responsibility activities. In our report, Antena 3 Group fights against obesity in Spain, ITV cooperates with governmental organisations to promote sports in the UK and Eurosport campaign in collaboration with the European Commission helped distribution of healthy messages European-wide.

Additionally, as explained by an independent producer, Kevin Mundye from Shine Network, the phenomenon of the successful format of “The Biggest Loser” seen now in over 90 countries, confirms that the international trade in television formats is flourishing nowadays and notably, it helps to reach the healthy eating messages to all European citizens in all TV markets.

To read the report, go to the ACT website.