Are Children’s TV Shows Too Late in Spain?
There has been some controversy in Spain recently with regards to some ratings of popular children’s shows. For once it’s not the quality that has been questioned but more the times that these shows are being broadcast. The ratings suggest that around 600, 000 Spanish children aged from 4 years old to 12 are watching these TV programmes after 10pm on weekday evenings.
There’s many shows which are designed for younger viewers which are not even starting until 10pm, something that puts considerable pressure on parents to allow their children to stay up and watch this stuff. Many groups have been watching how Spanish children’s TV have got later and later.
It’s not just specific shows either, children’s channels are stating kids films at 9:30 pm presumably finishing fairly close to 11pm at night. This is simply too late for children in that age bracket who are unlikely to get enough sleep, wake up tired and unable to concentrate at school. It might sound really shocking to UK parents for instance but the there are subtle reasons why this has happened in Spain. The Spanish tend to work longer days taking a break in the day, as such it fairly standard for parents to finish their working day at 7 or 8pm.
This has knock on effects on evening meals and television viewing. This is why many kids TV stations air shows much later, it is certainly quite unusual and not seen much outside Spain. Obviously the TV stations want viewers to generate advertising income, so this is one method that they can improve audiences. Parents are also likely to watch alongside their children too. Of course there are different options available, many expats based in Spain tend to access TV stations in their native language and hence the kids shows are earlier. Also many people use on demand services run by the BBC, using methods like this link in order to access them remotely. However all of Spain’s shows tend to be later even the adult versions with 90% of the country’s highest rated shows finishing after 11:30pm which is considerably later than in any other European country.
IT is said that as a consequence the Spanish have an average of 53 minutes less sleep than the Europe average. Many are concerned about this statistic especially at a time of economic crisis when productivity is a key concern. Many hope that over the next few years that improvements are made to the availability of digital channels which are popular in many other countries. This also allows for multiple screenings which could allow for more flexibility in viewing times. As mentioned other channels are available over the internet and many people access the BBC in Spain for example just by connecting via their computers and a proxy to hide their location.