Individuals aged 16 or over are classified as Adults within the BARB service.

Analogue TV

Television platform using analogue signal wavelengths. The UK ceased broadcasting analogue TV on 24th October 2012.


BARB divides the UK into ITV reception areas and BBC editorial regions. Audiences are currently reported for 13 ITV areas and 14 BBC regions (see also Macro Region).

As Broadcast

Method of reporting programmes which allocates viewing to the time programmes were broadcast. This method is used for the reporting of programme average audiences across four screens in the dashboard and C7 TV set viewing on our website.

As Viewed

Method of reporting programmes which allocates viewing to the time programmes were watched. This method is used for the reporting of multiple-screen reach, share and time spent viewing on our website.

Audience category

An audience category is a classification of the viewing audience into a specific group. The following audiences are sometimes referred to as main categories – Homes, Individuals, Adults, Men, Women, Children and Housepersons. Sub-categories are more detailed breakdowns of the main categories – by age groups, social grades etc.

Audience profile (audience composition)

The audience profile shows how a main audience category is divided into its subcategories (such as age, social grade or sex) in percentage terms. For example, if a programme achieves an Adult AB profile of 10%, this means that 10% of adult viewers were AB, while the other 90% were C1, C2 or DE Adults. An audience profile can be compared with the equivalent population profile to produce an index.

Audience share

See share.

Audience: break audience

A commercial break audience is defined as the duration weighted average of all the commercial spot audiences in the break.

Audience: commercial spot audience

The commercial spot audience is defined as the audience for the minute in which the commercial starts.

Audience: programme audience

A programme audience is the average of all the minute audiences covered by the programme transmission, excluding any commercial breaks and promotions.

Audience: time segment (daypart) audience

A time segment (e.g. quarter hour) or daypart audience is the average of the one minute audiences in that time segment/daypart.


BARB gold standard

Any audience measure that has been generated by applying the BARB defined calculation methodology and procedures to BARB audience data.

BARB user

Is a BARB underwriter or a person who has signed, or is treated by BARB as though it has signed, a Letter of Consent with BARB as a user of the service.

Broadband-only homes

Broadband-only homes have a broadband connection but no TV set; the occupants of these homes have the ability to watch television online on devices.


Broadcaster video-on-demand. A VOD service owned and operated by a broadcaster, offering on-demand and live streamed programming.



Television services which are transmitted over wires rather than over the airwaves.

C7 TV set viewing (previously called total TV)

Consolidated 7-day TV set viewing includes time spent watching on a TV set. This includes viewing to programmes and commercials on BARB-reported channels live and up to seven days after the time of broadcast; for programmes, this is regardless of whether the viewing is through a recording device or a BVOD service. Viewing is counted as having taken place at the time of broadcast. C7 TV set viewing is reported across television homes.


Computer assisted personal interview. A face-to-face interview where the questionnaire is administered by the interviewer using a laptop computer, which presents each question on the screen and interviewers directly record respondents replies. The BARB establishment survey is carried out by the CAPI method.

Chief income earner

The member of the household with the greatest total income.


BARB reports viewing for children aged 4-15.

Commercial audience factoring

For special cases where TV companies transmit commercials on a sub-area basis (e.g. North Scotland/Central Scotland), commercial audiences are calculated by applying a factor to the total area audience. The factor is based on the relative homes universe for each sub-area.

Consolidated audience

The consolidated audience is the sum of the live and timeshift audiences.


See reach.


Cost-per-thousand. The cost of one thousand commercial impacts for a target audience. Cost-per-thousand (CPT) is used when purchasing and measuring the efficiency of advertising campaigns.


Database 1

Database 1 contains the raw viewing statements for each home and individual in the BARB reporting panel for each day, together with all the classification details for each home and individual, needed for panel control and reporting purposes.

Database 2

Database 2 contains pre-processed time-based audiences (based on 1, 5, and 15 minute intervals) as well as audiences for programme transmissions, commercial spots and commercial breaks.


A daypart is a section of the viewing day, for example breakfast (0600-0924) or peak time (for which there are various definitions).


Digital cable.

Digital switchover

The government switched off all the analogue broadcast wavelengths for television (see digital TV). The process of transitioning all broadcasts to digital technology was completed in October 2012. The switchover process was completed over a five year period.

Digital TV

All televisions platforms now use digital signal wavelengths. The digital wavelengths are transmitted in a binary format which allows more information to be carried within the same bandwidth than analogue, resulting in more channels, better quality picture, sound and interactive services.


Digital satellite.


Digital terrestrial television.


Project Dovetail is the name of BARB’s initiative to deliver total reach of programme and commercial audiences across multiple screens.

Our method for achieving this relies on two data sets: panel data and device-based data. These two sources are combined using a process called Dovetail Fusion, which results in multiple-screen viewing figures.

Read more on the Project Dovetail page.


DVD recorder.


Encrypted channels

A viewing card is required to enable viewing to these channels.


Electronic programme guide. Channel and programme listing service available on digital TV.

Establishment survey

Survey undertaken to determine the ownership of television equipment and demographic characteristics of the population. Results are used to determine the panel controls against which the panel is maintained. BARB establishment survey respondents also provide the pool of households from which BARB panel homes are recruited.


First day sample

Panel members reporting on the first day of a given time period (e.g. a schedule of commercial spots). A first day sample is a commonly used sample base for reach and frequency analysis (see also middle day sample).

Free-to-air channels

No subscription fee is payable in order to view the channel. The majority of the channels on the digital terrestrial platform are free-to-air channels.

Frequency (average frequency)

The (average) number of times a commercial is seen by those within the target audience who see it at all. Average frequency is sometimes referred to as average OTS (see OTS).



Gross rating point. Often used as a measure of the overall weight of an advertising campaign. One rating point is numerically equivalent to one per cent of the target audience (see also TVR).

Guest viewing

Viewing by non panel members within panel homes. Guests are asked to provide details of their sex and age group via the peoplemeter handset. Regular guests may be allocated their own button on the handset, though their viewing will continue to be treated as guest viewing.



A device similar to a remote control which panel members use to register and deregister their presence in a room where a television set is on.


High definition television. A television service containing a high number of pixels which delivers a clearer and sharper picture.

Head of household

The head of household is the household member who either owns the property, is responsible for paying the rent, has use of the home as a result of his/her job, or is related to the owner or main tenant (where the owner or main tenant is not a regular member of the household).

Hours/minutes of viewing

The amount of television watched by a particular audience category. This is usually expressed as an average over a given time period.

Household size

The number of individuals who regularly live in the household.


The member of the household who is solely or mainly responsible for the household duties. A houseperson may be male or female. There is only one houseperson per household.

Housepersons with children

Housepersons living in a household in which a child (or children) aged 0-15 also lives.



A measure of viewing to commercial spots. One impact is one member of the target audience viewing one commercial. Impacts are added together to give, e.g. the total impacts delivered by a particular spot, the gross total achieved by a particular advertising campaign or the total supplied by a given channel. A total of 10 impacts could be achieved in a number of ways: by ten people viewing a single commercial; by one person seeing the commercial ten times; by five people seeing the commercial twice and so on.


BARB reports audiences for individuals aged 4+.

Interactive television

Mixing traditional television with interactive content on digital TV via the red button. Information can include links to further programmes, interactive games, commercial advertiser content etc.


Internet protocol television. A method of delivering television services via broadband.


Lifestyle insights

All panel members aged 16+ complete a questionnaire which asks, for example, about their leisure activities, holidays, spending habits and also includes some attitudinal statements. This data is analysed in conjunction with database 1 to allow groups of TV viewers to be analysed according to their interests.

Live audience

The audience to a minute, commercial, daypart or programme at the time of its transmission.


Macro region

Area created by the aggregation of one or more ITV areas. A detailed breakdown of BARB-reported macro regions is provided in the BARB reference manual.


See impacts.

Middle day sample

Panel members reporting on the middle day of a given time period (e.g. a schedule of commercial spots). This is often used as a sample base for reach and frequency analysis (see also first day sample).

Minute attribution

The clock minute is the basic reporting unit within the BARB system. An Individual is deemed to be a viewer for a particular clock minute if present in the room with the TV on for at least 31 seconds of that clock minute. A particular minute is attributed to the channel to which the set was tuned longest within that minute.

Multi-channel home

A home able to receive cable, satellite or digital terrestrial transmissions.

Multi-set home

A home possessing more than one television in working order (see television home).



Negative binomial distribution. A probability model used in the calculation of reach and frequency for commercial spot schedules.


When used in a BARB context, network is usually equivalent to all areas of the UK (i.e. a network programme is one shown in all areas of the UK).

Nil viewer

A panel home (or individual panel member) which does not view any television across a given time period is known as a nil viewer.

Non-linear viewing

Viewing to programmes available on a BVOD service before (or without) linear broadcast. We can report audiences to non-linear programmes with the cooperation of the broadcaster. In these cases, non-linear viewing is included in total three-screen viewing.



Opportunity to see ads in a campaign. Total (target audience) OTS of a television campaign is equivalent to the total number of (target audience) impacts delivered by that campaign. Average OTS is equivalent to average frequency (see frequency).

Out-of-home viewing

BARB measures TV viewing within private domestic households. The only type of out-of-home viewing captured is guest viewing (see guest viewing).


The previous day’s viewing is released to the industry at 9.30am the next day. This includes both live and VOSDAL viewing.



Sample of people used for regular research. The BARB panel consists of 5,300 homes, which is more than 12000 individuals aged 4+. Their television viewing is measured and reported every single day.

Panel 50

The full network panel.

Panel 72

Homes with digital satellite and/or cable.


Pay TV service allowing users to pay for each programme they watch rather than via a monthly fee. For example, box office films may be watched via pay-per-view.

Pay TV

TV service that requires a viewer to pay a one off or regular subscription fee in order to view.

People meter

Generic name for the electronic measurement system which monitors the channel that a TV set is tuned to and the individuals present in the room while the TV set is switched on.


The length of time that a TV needs to be in a particular status (e.g. tuned to a particular channel) before this status is recorded by the meter. This is currently set to 15 seconds.


A term encompassing the various ways in which a home can receive television. There are three platforms currently reported: digital terrestrial, digital satellite and digital cable.


Viewing of broadcast material that has been recorded (see also timeshift audience).


The daily process whereby the meters send back collected data to be processed into viewing figures.


The number of people in the universe or target group.

Preference to view

Within a household able to receive more than one ITV1 regional station, preference to view is the extent to which one station is viewed rather than another. It is measured in the establishment survey interview as number of hours (out of ten) for which the household watches each station.

Programme genre

A classification of programmes into particular types (e.g. drama, sport, documentary).

Programme sponsorship

A form of promotion where a company or product associates itself with a programme. This is done via credits at the beginning and end of the programme and in the programme breaks.


Personal video recorder. Digital recorder, e.g. Sky +, V+ and others, that allows a viewer to record programmes from an EPG and pause live TV for later viewing.


Random probability sample

Sample designed to strict procedures to ensure that each member of the target audience has a known chance of being selected for interview. BARB establishment survey interviewees are selected via random probability sampling.


See TVR.


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. The BARB definition is for this to be at least three consecutive minutes.

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.

Red button

See interactive television.

Reduced screen viewing

Viewing which takes place where the main broadcast channel is shown in reduced size within a screen that has other content.


See areas.


Sample size

The number of individuals in a sample group.

Set-top box

Supplied to satellite, cable and digital terrestrial homes to enable them to receive signals to their television sets.

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. For example, a share of 33% for The Voice UK would mean that, of all the viewers watching television when The Voice UK was being transmitted, 33% were watching The Voice UK.

SI code

Service information code. A code broadcast by a channel that uniquely identifies that channel. SI codes are used by the BARB meter to monitor the channel being viewed on the digital satellite platform.


The simultaneous broadcasting of the same programme on different TV channels. Simulcast can also refer to the same channel being broadcast on different platforms.

Social grade

A classification of household social status based on the occupation of the chief income earner. BARB reports the following social grades:

AB – higher (A) or intermediate (B) managerial, administrative or professional

C1 – supervisory or clerical and junior managerial, administrative or professional

C2 – skilled manual workers

D – semi-skilled and unskilled workers

E – state pensioners, casual or lowest grade workers


An individual occurrence of a commercial.


Broadcast of channel output on a secondary channel at a fixed time after the original broadcast. The most commonly used time lag is one hour, and such secondary channels are often labelled “+1”.

Sub-group factoring

A technique used to calculate audiences for reporting sub-categories in the four smallest ITV area panels (North East, Border, West, South West). Details of the calculation are provided in the BARB reference manual (see also audience category).


Subscription video on demand. Subscribers have access to specific programming for a regularly charged fee.



Tagged BVOD services generate programme viewing statements to BARB’s specification at a census level from tablets, PCs and smartphones.

Television home

A household which has at least one television in working order (or if not, for which arrangements have been made for repair within seven days) is classed as a TV home.

Terrestrial television

Television received via a normal rooftop or indoor aerial.

Thirty hour clock

For reporting purposes within database 2 the BARB broadcast day runs for 24 hours from 6am. Times beyond 24:59 are reported using a thirty hour clock. For example 01:00 is shown as 25:00, 05:59 is shown as 29:59 etc.

Thirty second equivalent impacts

See weighted impacts.

Timeshift audience

The playback audience to a video or PVR/DVDR recording of a minute, commercial, daypart or programme. The recording must be played back within 7 days of the original transmission to be counted by BARB and included in the BARB gold standard calculations.

Since July 2013 BARB has made available timeshifted 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.

Total three-screen viewing

Total three-screen viewing includes: C7 TV set viewing; 8-28 day timeshifted TV set viewing; non-linear viewing on TV sets from cooperating broadcasters and viewing BVOD services on tablets and PCs. We report total three-screen viewing on our website across a universe that includes television homes and broadband-only homes

Transmission hours

The length of time that a channel broadcasts in any given day.

Transmission log

A detailed description of the events (programmes, commercials etc) broadcast each day by a particular channel. The logs are combined with minute-by-minute BARB audience data so that audiences can be reported for particular programmes, commercial breaks or individual commercial spots.


The TVR (television rating) is the 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 Women aged 16-34 TVR of 12 in Yorkshire this means that, on average during the programme, 12% of all Women aged 16-34 in the Yorkshire region watched Coronation Street.

Commercial campaigns are frequently assessed by adding the TVRs of their individual spots to produce a gross rating point total (see also GRP).


Uncovered set viewing

The situation where a television set is switched on but nobody is present in the room is known as uncovered set viewing.

Unidentified viewing

TV set viewing that BARB cannot identify. This includes viewing 28+ days after broadcast and non-broadcast viewing, such as viewing to SVOD services, games-playing on a games console and watching DVDs.


The total population of a particular audience category. The universe can be based solely on television homes or a combination of television and broadband-only homes.

For example, the network universe for ABC1 women in television homes is the total number of ABC1 women living within television homes in the UK. The network universe for 16-34-year-olds in both television and broadband-only homes is the total number of 16-34s living within homes with a TV set and/or broadband connection in the UK.



A panel member (or guest) is defined to be viewing when they are present in a room with a TV set switched on.


Video-on-demand. A service that offers programming available to watch on-demand or live streamed on TV sets or devices.


Viewing on same day as live. Timeshifted viewing that has been viewed on the same day as the original broadcast is included in the overnight file which is released at 9.30am the following day (see overnights).


Weighted impacts/messages

Impacts may be weighted back to a thirty second equivalent according to the value of any commercial length relative to a 30 second spot. The relative values differ according to individual broadcasters and are published as commercial length rate factors.



Channel hopping through different television channels.


Fast forwarding through recorded commercials when watching a pre-recorded programme.