December 12, 2008 / 5:53 PM / 10 years ago

Battle over Christmas TV alive and kicking: poll

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Christmas is coming, and while the goose may be getting fat, a new study has suggested that our patience is wearing thin when it comes to deciding what to watch on TV.

It’s a scene we are all familiar with; flopping down in front of the television after too much eating, drinking and making merry, only for an argument to break out over what to watch on the box.

As many as 91 percent of families across Europe fight over the remote control at Christmas, with 7 percent confessing that their TV tantrums have descended into a physical fight, the survey of more than 2,500 people by consumer electronics firm Logitech found.

Yet far from being the result of over-indulgence or shortened Christmas fuses, the poll suggests that dominance over the remote control has a distinctly political flavor.

The survey revealed that while 63 percent of European families view their living space as a democracy, in many households there is a distinct power struggle when it comes to home entertainment.

Only half of British families could claim that control of the TV was governed democratically and 23 percent went so far to say that when it comes to control over the remote control their home was more like a dictatorship than a haven of consensus.

The research also suggests that while 15 percent of household respondents operate an anarchic system, where the first one to the remote makes the decisions, a further 9 percent claimed that their household operated as a top down dictatorship - with one person making the decisions and another carrying out the task of actually changing the channel.

And when it comes to picking what to watch over the festive season, it would seem that the age-old battle of the sexes is alive and well with 44 percent saying that the man of the house dominates home viewing.

But women are fighting back.

Specialist teaching assistant Sue Cassidy from London said she happily resorts to subterfuge to keep command of the remote.

“I have been known to hide it in my bra if my favorite program is about to come on.”

Editing by Paul Casciato

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