BARB enhances overnight ratings service

23 March 2005

BARB To Enhance Overnight Ratings Service

BARB (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board) today announced that it is to enhance its overnight ratings service.

In anticipation of incorporating playback viewing undertaken through the Sky+ box, BARB has reviewed its ‘overnights’ service (the reporting of audiences the day after transmission) which currently covers live viewing only.

The advent and growth of ‘paused’ and playback viewing may mean that viewing on the day of transmission is increasingly offset from the actual live transmission. “By introducing same day playback figures BARB is adapting to flexible viewing opportunities that are starting to develop” says Bjarne Thelin, BARB chief executive.

Viewing on Same day as Live (VOSDAL) figures will now incorporate this same-day playback viewing within the overnight audiences. So if, for example, a viewer decides to playback a drama at a different time to its scheduled slot – but on the same day – this viewing will be included in the overnight ratings for that drama.

BARB’s live figures will still be available, and seven-day consolidated figures will remain unchanged. However, the same-day playback VOSDAL figures will provide a sensible means of accessing audience data on the day after transmission.

Bjarne Thelin said: “We are currently working with data processors to help determine the best means of delivering this new service, and hope it will become available in the third quarter of this year.”

This announcement is contained in BARB’s March Newsletter which will be posted next week. Other new developments featured are enhancements to BARB’s Programme Attribution Service, which will improve broadcaster coordination of programme details reported in the BARB system; and the new electronic version of BARB’s Establishment Survey to enable better access to the large amount of data (collected from 52,000 interviews per annum) which provides information about the characteristics of UK television viewers and their receiving equipment.

Media enquiries to Sheila Thompson or Moira Whittle at Brown Lloyd James on 020 7591 9610 or by email at or

Notes to Editors

BARB was set up in 1981 to provide the industry-standard audience measurement service for television broadcasters and the advertising industry. It is a not-for-profit limited company owned by BBC, ITV, Channel 4, five, BSkyB and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

BARB provides in-home TV viewing measurement for the UK. This is obtained from a panel of 5,100 homes. These homes return data from around 11,500 viewers. Viewing from visitors to the home is included (Guest Viewing). Viewing figures are available to subscribers the morning after transmission. VCR playback is incorporated within 7 days of transmission (Consolidated Viewing). Audiences are reported on a minute-by-minute basis.

The panel design is representative of the whole of the UK. People are recruited from all sectors of the population. All viewing environments in the home are represented. Multiple TV sets are measured. BARB measures both analogue and digital delivery via cable, satellite and terrestrial distribution.