File pic of Sharjah Broadcasting Authority building. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: A nationwide survey by the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (SBA) on Saturday revealed that television viewership and radio listenership stood at 93.2 per cent in Sharjah, compared to 91.7 percent in the UAE as a whole.

Fifty-six percent of the surveyed audience watch television for less than five hours a day; around 23 per cent watch for five to 10 hours daily; while nine per cent spend between 10 to 15 hours on TV programmes.

The survey revealed the wide reach of the SBA channels and stations across the UAE. Sharjah TV clocked 64 per cent of viewership, while Sharjah Radio had a listenership of 60 per cent. The listenership of Pulse 95 Radio was 41.5 per cent, and that of Quran Radio was more than 68 per cent. Changes due to pandemic?

The survey conducted by SBA in cooperation with OMNES Media aimed to gauge the outreach and popularity of SBA’s TV and radio channels, and the UAE audience’s evaluation of their offerings. With people spending more time at home due to COVID-19, the survey also highlights the change in preferences and interests of audiences and whether and how it had affected their choice of content.

Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, Director-General, SBA, said that the survey sample covered all segments of the UAE community in terms gender, age nationality and educational level, was conducted by a third party “to ensure precise and transparent results”. About 26,000 people participated in the survey, and were sent digital questionnaires via e-mail or on social media by the OMNES Media Survey system.

How the survey was held

He added: “The local broadcasting sector lacks updated information and reliable data on its audience outreach, programming and content demand. This is the reason SBA included periodic surveys into its new strategy so as to better understand the UAE audience, and provide the kind of content that viewers and listeners desire.”

Viewership and listenership trends

The survey results indicated that 68 per cent of the respondents prefer to watch television in the evening, 15 per cent at midnight, and the remaining 17 per cent prefer daytime. Furthermore, 67 per cent of the survey respondents listen to radio in the morning, 27 per cent at mid-day and the remaining 16 per cent from evening to around midnight.

Thirty-five percent of participants prefer music programmes, 31 per cent talk shows, 15 per cent news programmes, while 11.6 percent like religious shows and two per cent sports programmes.

Audience demographics

In terms of demographics, 32 per cent of the participants were residents of Sharjah and Dubai. Abu Dhabi accounted for 21 per cent of the respondents, Ajman nine per cent, and the other Emirates six percent.

Fifty-three per cent of the participants were males. The highest number of participants – 46 per cent – belonged to the 31-40 year age group category; 20-30 year olds accounted for 31 per cent, those aged 41-50 accounted for 19 per cent. Around four percent respondents were above 50 years of age.

Sixty-three per cent of the respondents were married, 37 per cent single, and two per cent belonged to other categories. Education-wise, three per cent of the participants held doctorates, 12 per cent had master’s degrees, 66 per cent were college graduates, while 19 per cent were high school graduates or below.