Ethnic minorities are more likely to be interested in interactive TV but are increasingly concerned about programmes they deem unsuitable, according to new findings by Ofcom.

The media watchdog's new study on the media literacy of UK adults from minority ethnic groups also shows that take-up, interest in, volume of use and confidence with digital media is higher than with households in the UK generally.

Ofcom interviewed 1,200 people for the survey, divided equally between each of Britain's four biggest ethnic minority groups - Pakistani, Indian, black Caribbean and black African.

The survey found that concerns about television were higher among ethnic minority groups than in the UK population in general.

Between 60% and 73% of ethnic minority groups said they were worried about offensive content compared to 55% of UK adults.

Key findings include:

  • People from ethnic minority groups are more likely to be interested in digital television functions like red button or setting up a list of favourite channels (between 77% and 91% of respondants) than the average UK adult (67%). They are also more likely to be interested in digital radio functions, (between 68% and 78%), compared with the UK average (61%).

  • Pakistani adults are more likely to have digital television (89%) than any other ethnic group in the UK.

  • Indian, Pakistani and black Caribbean adults are more likely to receive their television service through satellite or cable services than through Freeview. Ofcom believes this may be due to the array of international channels, including foreign news available through cable services like Virgin and Sky.

  • Adults from minority ethnic groups are more likely to live in households with multiple device access (digital TV, mobile phone and internet) than the UK population as a whole (62%-65% compared to 53%).

The findings also revealed that ethnic minority groups are more likely to have downloaded video clips and longer content such as films and television programmes than the UK population as a whole.

There is some confusion among ethnic minorities about how media outlets are funded and regulated, according to the research.

More people knew how BBC TV programming is funded as opposed to commercial TV, but many were uncertain about how internet and radio programmes are financed. Similar to the rest of the UK population, most adults were confused about how television, radio, the internet and mobile phones are regulated.

Although a majority of adults surveyed were aware that TV is regulated, awareness was higher among black Caribbeans than among Indian, Pakistani and black African adults. More Indians and black african adults were aware of the watershed.

Awareness of radio regulation among black Caribbean (63%) and black African adults (57%) is comparable with the UK overall (58%) but awareness is significantly lower among Indian (51%) and Pakistani adults (47%).