BARB for journalists

Guidelines for non BARB licenced print/online publishers

All data and information derived from it are copyright to BARB. This also includes inter alia all text, logos, photographs, artwork, trade marks, service marks and other material on the website which belong to BARB or are licensed to BARB by authorised third parties. Please refer to the ownership and use of content section in BARBs website terms and conditions.

Acceptable reproduction of BARB data and information derived from it

This guidance is not intended to be comprehensive and if at any time you are unsure of the extent to which information may be disseminated please do contact us.

Very top line information contained within editorial content is acceptable, for example, reference to Channel X or Channel Y, a small number of overnight ratings, number of viewers, share of viewing. This should not extend to an amount which, for example, represents a channel's full peak-time schedule for an evening, or a single timeslot performance for more than three or four channels. In an article about a particular channel, passing reference to the channel's share of viewing and how it has performed over time and in comparison to its competitors is acceptable, together with reference to its audience profile and passing reference to its highest rated programmes.

It is unacceptable to print data / information from the BARB without the appropriate BARB publishing licence. It is clear in our website terms and conditions that it is necessary to become a BARB user in order to reproduce content, other than as described above. Nor is it acceptable to print charts, graphs or tables of data, programme rankings, comprehensive overnight data without a BARB publishing licence.

There is a wealth of BARB data available to BARB users to purchase from BARB registered data processing bureaux . A modestly priced publishing licence (covering all titles within a publishing house) enables publishers to enjoy the benefits of full access to all BARB data and to be able to reproduce information from the public access pages of the BARB website and publish lists of top programmes, overnights, share of viewing etc. Please refer to clause 4 in part A of the BARB rate card (& terms and conditions of use) for details and the how to subscribe section.

It is inaccurate to describe overnight ratings as unofficial. Overnight minute by minute television viewing data are released to the industry at 9.30 each morning. This data includes any recorded material played back on the same day as the original transmission, referred to as viewing on same day as live (VOSDAL). This will be the preliminary rating for a programme, commercial break, spot etc because any recorded playback within 7 days has not yet been viewed and this, together with guest viewing, has yet to be added in. Since July 2013 BARB has made available time-shifted viewing up to 28 days after the original transmission. It can be added to the live data. This viewing is not included in the BARB Gold Standard Calculations.

Overnight programme ratings are derived from the minute by minute BARB data by third parties, i.e. research companies, by applying programme timings and calculating an average rating for the programme. It is the programme timings that are unofficial because they do not emanate from the broadcasters transmission logs, so there is a possibility that they could be incorrectly calculated. The accurate description, therefore, is: "according to BARB overnight viewing data Coronation Street last night was watched by 9.5 million people (based on unofficial programme timings)."

In the Resources section there is a glossary of BARB terminology which may aid in applying the correct descriptions of BARB data. For example:

Share (share of viewing)

The percentage of the total viewing audience watching over a given period of time. This can apply to channels, programmes, time periods, etc. An example is, a share of 40% for Coronation Street would mean that, of all the viewers watching television when Coronation Street was being transmitted, 40% were watching Coronation Street.


The net number or percentage of people who have seen a particular piece of broadcast output, e.g. a programme, daypart, channel, TV advertising campaign.

Programme or daypart reach assesses what percentage of the population saw a specified amount of a programme or daypart. It is also used cumulatively to assess the total net percentage that saw a specified amount of a complete series / month of television etc. There are various ways of defining the amount of viewing an individual must have done in order to be counted as having been reached. A standard BARB convention is for this to be at least three consecutive minutes.

Alternatively, for TV advertising campaigns, reach (the net percentage of the target audience to have at least one opportunity to see the campaign) is often used in conjunction with frequency (the average number of times the campaign was seen by those within the target audience who were reached) to produce an overall measure of campaign exposure.


The TVR (Television Rating) is the relative audience and measure of the popularity of a programme, daypart, commercial break or advertisement by comparing its audience to the population as a whole. One TVR is numerically equivalent to one per cent of a target audience, for example, if Coronation Street achieved a housewives TVR of 20 in Yorkshire this means that, on average, during the programme, 20% of all housewives in the Yorkshire region watched Coronation Street.