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 behaviour convergence,’1 enhanced audience engagement with the interactive TV services offered, and participation. Based on findings from a UK-wide survey and in-depth interviews with early Sky digital subscribers conducted during the early days of the service, the article 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.

Interactivity, use habits, customisation and individualization of viewing, complementarity, TV programmes, screen entertainment medium
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
dx.doi.org/10.18146/2213-0969.2014.jethc071
VIEW Journal
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture; Vol 3, No 6 (2014); 69-77

Theodoropoulou, Vivi. (2014). Convergent Television and ‘Audience Participation’: The Early Days of Interactive Digital Television in the UK. VIEW Journal, 3(6), 69–77. doi:10.18146/2213-0969.2014.jethc071