The average television viewer watches for three to four hours a day, or more, but why do we watch? While considerable industry attention is given to attempting to measure who is watching what and when they are viewing, there’s less focus on why we enjoy television, how we choose what to watch, or indeed what watching television actually involves. Original work in the sociology of television viewing informed my own academic interest in what I called ‘video literacy’. Yet it seems there’s still relatively little research on how and why we watch television and video programmes. It may seem obvious or intuitive, but understanding that is surely fundamental to any analysis of the medium.