Soap Opera Demonstrates Its Surging Interest

The 15 million-plus viewers drawn to a recent two-part episode of a popular British soap opera caused a 1,500-MW power surge in Britain's National Grid during the commercial break dividing the two installments. The show, "Coronation Street," featured the highly-anticipated murder of a popular character in a storyline dominated by a raging serial killer.

03/01/2003


The 15 million-plus viewers drawn to a recent two-part episode of a popular British soap opera caused a 1,500-MW power surge in Britain's National Grid during the commercial break dividing the two installments.

The show, "Coronation Street," featured the highly-anticipated murder of a popular character in a storyline dominated by a raging serial killer. British television networks generally incorporate fewer commercial breaks than their U.S. counterparts, leaving viewers fewer opportunities for addressing other needs.

"Obviously, there was a huge audience, which meant at the end of the program, people were getting up, turning lights on, going to the toilet, opening fridge doors and boiling kettles," said a National Grid spokesman, quoted in a BBC News article.

This isn't the first time soap-opera fans have caused problems for British power planners. The 20 million viewers of the show "EastEnders" caused a 2,600-MW surge in April 2001.

From Pure Power, Spring 2003





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