Kids prefer sport and talent contests

Will.i.am The Voice is the most popular entertainment show among under-15s

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The Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, and talent shows such as The Voice, were the most-watched shows among children under 15 last year, according to an Ofcom survey.

Sport, including England football internationals, and entertainment shows, topped viewing lists, followed by Christmas specials of Doctor Who and Miranda.

Around 530,000 children aged between four and nine were also reported to have watched EastEnders on Christmas Day, which started just before the watershed at 8.45pm.

The survey found that under-15s were most likely to watch TV between 7pm and 9pm, including a peak of 2.1 million - a quarter of that age group - during 7.30pm and 8pm.

The findings follow a recent BBC Trust recommendation that the BBC's mainstream channels need to do more to "take account of children as a potential audience".

The corporation's dedicated children's channels - CBeebies and CBBC - switch off at 7pm but are the most popular among their respective target audiences of under-sixes and viewers aged six to 12.

Witch in Room on the Broom Christmas animations such as Room on the Broom proved popular with children

Overall, children's viewing of the BBC's non-terrestrial channels, which include BBC Three, dropped from 31% in 2011 to 28% last year.

Around 21% of under-15s were also reported to watch TV alone between 9pm and 10pm, with 13% of that age group viewing television between 9pm and midnight.

Unsurprisingly, peak viewing times happened before and after school.

Other findings included:

  • Children aged 4-15 watched an average of 16 hours and 42 minutes of television every week in 2012, which is a fall of 23 minutes compared to the previous year
  • Time-shifted viewing among under-15s increased by 10% in the last five years
  • Commercial networks - both children's and adults - drew 74% of viewing time for under-15s
  • The proportion of under-15s listening to radio at home fell by 5% since last year to 37% in 2013, but there has been no change in digital listening
  • The BBC was the third most-accessed website among 6-14s, behind Google and YouTube
  • There has been a fall in the number of 5-15s owning a mobile phone
  • The use of tablet computers at home has trebled among 5-15s since last year
  • For the first time, there has been a fall in the number of children with social networking profiles

The Ofcom report is available here.

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