iPlayer and Netflix Are Killing the Traditional Ad Break Power Surge

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

A vaguely interesting bit of news you might want to discuss with a mate the next time you head to the pub and run out of things to talk about has been revealed by the National Grid.

Thanks to a change in viewing habits, the traditional power surge during TV show ad breaks -- as people dash to the kitchen to brew up a cuppa -- is significantly smaller than it used to be.

“We see as many [spikes in demand] but they are much, much smaller than they were,” National Grid forecasting manager Jeremy Caplin told the Financial Times. “The way that people watch TV has meant that they have come down in size.”

When viewers found out who shot Phil in EastEnders (it was Lisa) back in 2001, the National Grid recorded a 2,290MW power surge at the end of the episode -- the third highest on record after the final of the 1990 World Cup and finale of The Thorn Birds in 1984, according to Wikipedia.

All three were, of course, major television events. 15 years ago, the average episode of EastEnders would cause a 660MW power surge. That figure has now dropped to around 200MW.

No wonder tea consumption in the UK is falling so dramatically. [via Telegraph]

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