Mustard TV bosses have released the first set of viewing figures showing a healthy appetite for the new service amongst Freeview viewers in the greater Norwich area.

Mustard TV began broadcasting in March, the second local TV station to go live, on Freeview channel 8, although it is not currently available on Sky or Virgin. Owned by community media group Archant, which publishes daily and weekly papers and magazines across Norfolk among many other areas, the station was awarded the licence by Ofcom to run a new local TV channel based in Norwich.

Research by the channel, just released, looking at how it had settled in to the market place examined the viewing habits among the adult audience.

It revealed that 20% of all adults surveyed in the broadcast area (equivalent to 96,000 people) had tuned in and watched in the four weeks preceding the fieldwork interviews between April 30 and May 11.

Of these, 58,000 watched Mustard News, 30,000 watched Archive Half Hour, and 21,000 watched the Mustard Show, the station’s weekday magazine show. 12% of all adults surveyed in the broadcast area (equivalent to 54,000 people) said they had watched it in the last week.

Viewers had last tuned in for an average of 29 minutes, while 16 to 24 year olds had spent 33 minutes when they last watched. However, with the research only looking at the viewing habits of one person per household, the station believes that the total number of viewers could be even higher.

Fiona Ryder, Mustard TV managing director, said: “We are delighted to see that so many people have retuned their TVs and are watching Mustard TV. It is a really encouraging set of initial figures which puts us well and truly in the heart of the local media map. ”

The research was conducted by Interviewing Services Limited under the rules of the Market Research Society. It interviewed 579 adults (aged 16+) in-street in a sample of all the postcode sectors in the Tacolneston transmission area.

Mel Wilcockson, Mustard’s head of commercial, said: “We are really impressed with the number of businesses that invested in our product from launch and the volume of customers that have rebooked.”

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