The average Briton watch TV(or „the box“ or „telly“ how it is often called) 26 hours a week. Over half of the British households also have video-cassette recorder. There are four main TV channels. BBC1 and BBC2 are broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation(BBC) without any advertising. To pay for the BBC everyone with television has to pay license fee each year. Independent televisions are ITV and Channel4, which are paid by advertising. There are more than 130 Cable TV networks and a lot of satellite TV channels(British Sky Broadcasting).The most popular TV program is soap opera. Soap operas are serialized stories on television. Soap operas are from America. They are called soap because the first programs were sponsored by companies making soap powder. American soaps are usually about rich people but English soaps are different. English soaps are about ordinary people and everyday situations. For example Coronation Street(problems of teenagers, jealousy) on ITV, EastEnders (unemployment, unmarried mothers, homeless) on BBC1, Brookside on Channel4.There are also favourite Australian soaps. For example Neighbours. People watch this programmes to have a rest from their real problems.
The British like news. There are 11 national newspapers. It is together with television and radio big business. British books, magazines and newspapers are sold worldwide. There are two types of newspapers popular press (tabloids) and quality newspapers. The tabloids are more for entertainment than for news. There are scandals, personalities, and famous people, The Royal Family. It is for example The Sun or The Daily Mirror. The best-selling quality newspapers are the Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph (best-selling) and The Financial Times(on pink paper).
The BBC broadcasts on four national and 32 local radio stations (Radio1, Radio2, Radio3, Radio4) .Each of them specializes in particular part of program. The BBC world service is broadcast from Bush House in London. It has more than 120 million listeners all over the world. There are also many commercial stations, which mostly broadcast pop music.