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BARB Sky+ reporting to commence

2 March 2006

BARB is re-introducing reporting of viewing from panel homes with Sky+ devices from Monday March 6th 2006.

Wide-ranging testing has taken place in recent weeks to assess actions taken to facilitate this reporting. BARB and its research contractors have been working intensively to examine the quality and reliability of the data from Sky+ homes. Now that BARB has been assured of the quality of Sky+ viewing data, reporting from homes with Sky+ devices can restart.

Initially around 120 – 130 Sky+ homes with verified reporting of Sky+ playback are expected to report in daily processing, with the number continuing to increase in the coming weeks. BARB considers that the current numbers and profile of reportable Sky+ homes are sufficient to recommence reporting from March 6th.

Sky+ test data that BARB and its contractors have been examining from these homes indicates that between 15% and 20% of viewing on a daily basis is time-shifted by individuals.

It is also evident that the extent of time-shifted viewing across individual viewers varies widely. For example, an indicative analysis of week ending 19th February showed that 15% of viewers time-shifted 40% or more of all their television viewing, and 38% time-shifted less than 10% of their viewing. Clearly different viewers use PVR functionality in different ways, and to different degrees.

More detailed analysis will be possible once more homes with Sky+ are included in BARB’s reporting panel. It may be expected to take a number of weeks to generate fuller learning from PVR viewing figures. Results may be expected to vary over longer periods of analysis, as the take-up of the devices expands, and as seasonal differences take effect.

These figures should, therefore, be viewed only as early indications for the use of such devices, which are estimated to be in around 5% of UK homes.

BARB intends to issue a more extensive summary of viewing once homes have established reporting over a longer period.

Notes for Editors

Sky+ playback is subject to the same ‘rules’ of reporting as other consolidated viewing. For example, fast forwarding is not included in viewing figures, and has never contributed to commercial impacts.

BARB suspended reporting from Sky+ homes in mid-November 2005, shortly after the original introduction of ‘time-shift’ reporting from homes on the BARB panel with Sky+. This was done as a quality control and cautionary measure to protect the integrity of BARB data whilst investigations were made into the reasons why technical issues were resulting in a lower than anticipated number of Sky+ homes reporting on daily processing.

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.