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Brits are all set for a ‘box set binge’ this winter

15 November 2016

Game of Thrones is the winter must-watch for 1 in 5 UK box set fans

  • 59% of Brits ideal winter evening is a cosy night in with TV or a box set
  • 27% prefer a box set to watching X-Factor or Strictly Come Dancing
  • More Brits (19%) are planning to watch Game of Thrones this winter than any other box set
  • 25% tend to ‘box set binge’ watching multiple episodes in one evening
  • 22% of Brits are currently in the middle of a box set
  • 8% of viewers say they are addicted to box sets
  • 7% of UK consumers don’t watch streamed services due to a poor broadband connection

The nation is set for a box set binge this winter with the majority (59%) of UK adults saying a night in watching TV or a box set would be their favoured way to spend a winter evening. In fact, more than 1 in 5 (22%) are already in the middle of a watching a box set  and more than a quarter (27%) would rather catch up on a box set than watch The X-Factor or Strictly Come Dancing.

The new research* from Broadband found that Game of Thrones is going to be the most watched box set this winter, with The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad in second and third place respectively.

The survey also found that the entire Top 10 list of ‘watch this winter’ box sets are made in America. British-made series including Cold Feet, Peaky Blinders, Downton Abbey and Sherlock were in the ‘also rans’ behind classic American series such as Grey’s Anatomy, Friends and The Wire.

The Top 10 box set winter watch list


Game of Thrones (HBO)


The Walking Dead (AMC)


Breaking Bad (AMC)


House of Cards (Netflix)


Stranger Things (Netflix)


Orange is the new black (Netflix)


Narcos (Netflix)


Dexter (Showtime)


True Detective (HBO)


Mad Men (AMC)

Netflix and AMC shared the honours for the most shows in the top 10, with four original shows apiece making the cut. The most popular shows on the streaming channel were Stranger Things, and US political drama House of Cards, perhaps boosted by the recent US elections, with 9% of respondents planning to watch the shows. However, Amazon Prime, considered by most to be Netflix’s biggest rival, failed to land a single original show in the top 10.

While the battle of the box sets was close, AMC’s The Walking Dead (which recently returned to screens) and HBO’s Game of Thrones (due back for its 7th season in 2017) were the clear favourites. Of those asked, 17% said they would be bingeing on episodes of the zombie thriller this winter, but it was just beaten by Game of Thrones (19%), which fittingly was the king of winter boxsets.

Ben Wilson, from Broadband, said: “The ‘box set’ has become a staple of modern day living with more than 1 in 8 (12%) saying that they now spend more time watching box sets than any other form of television.

“These days most viewers tend to watch ‘box sets’ via an on-demand service such as Netflix, Sky Go, Amazon Prime or Now TV. As such, we’ve seen an increase in streaming services popping up over the past few years, and with them increased consumer demand for faster broadband with unlimited data.

“Our research found that 11% of people would watch more box sets if their broadband service was better and 6% still suffer buffering and poor picture quality.

“Although you may be able to improve your viewing by upgrading to a better broadband service, the maximum speeds advertised may be considerably higher than you actually receive. For more information on broadband speed, how to test your actual speed and improve your broadband performance, see's dedicated guide page.

“The internet now plays a vital part in many people’s day-to-day lives so it’s important to make sure you’ve got the right package. Whether you’re using broadband at home for personal use such as streaming box sets, movies and gaming, or if you’re running a home business, make sure you’re regularly seeing what’s on offer from other providers, especially if you’ve been with your existing broadband company for several years.”

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Notes to editors:

*On 19 October 2016, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,004 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom.