The paper focuses on the introduction of interactive digital television (DTV) in the UK, at the turn of the millennium, and its take-up and use by early audiences. It discusses whether the processes of television technological convergence went together with “consumer behavior convergence”[i], enhanced audience engagement with the interactive TV services offered, and participation. Based on findings from a UK-wide survey and interviews with early Sky digital subscribers[ii] it shows that early interactive DTV was taken up because of its multichannel offering and thematic orientation and, interestingly, was approached and appreciated mostly as a television content provider. It thus notes a divergence on industry’s attempts to promote convergence in broadcasting and on the level and pace with which users adopt and adapt to such change. In so doing it highlights the evolutionary nature and slow rate of ‘change’ of cultural habits and forms. [i] Horst Stipp, ‘Convergence now?’, The International Journal of Media Management, 1, 1, 1999, 10-13. [ii] A postal survey using a simple random sample of 1986 early Sky digital subscribers was conducted and achieved a response rate of 35.25%. This was complemented by 15 in-depth interviews with a stratified sample of the original survey sample. In the quotes that follow the gender initial (Male or Female) and age of the interviewee is used as an identification mark.

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Keywords interactivity, use habits, customization and individualization of viewing, complementarity, TV programmes, screen entertainment medium
Publisher Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Journal VIEW Journal
Rights Each article is copyrighted © by its author(s) and is published under license from the author(s).When a paper is accepted for publication, authors will be requested to agree with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Netherlands License
Note VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture; Vol 3, No 6 (2014): Convergent Television(s); 69-77
Citation
Theodoropoulou, Vivi. (2014). Convergent Television and 'Audience Participation': The Early Days of Interactive Digital Television in the UK. VIEW Journal, 3(6), 69–77.

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