Television is the most popular leisure pastime in Russia. Several television channels are in operation: "Ostankino", "Russian Channel", "Independent TV Channel - NTV". Besides them there are local TV channels and local commercial TV channels in big cities and republics of Russia.
TV services provide programmes of general interest such as light entertainment, sport, current affairs, serious drama, music. There are programmes on arts, children's and family programmes, interview with outstanding personalities, news reports covering international, national and local events. Much attention is paid to foreign films, American in particular, foreign TV programmes and soap operas.
Television is one of the most popular mass media in Britain too. Some 96 per cent of population have television in their homes. It is estimated that about 10 per cent of household have two or more sets. Average viewing time per person is over 17 hours a week. Four television channels are in operation: BBC-1, BBC-2, ITV, Channel-4.
The BBC has been providing regular television broadcasts since 1936. BBC television productions come from main studios at the Television Centre in west London and other studios in various parts of London. The first regular independent television broadcast began in London in 1955. Independent television programmes are produced at 18 studio centres throughout the country.