Broadband measurement working group

12 November 2007

12 November 2007
UK Broadcasters Unite Over Rights Issues

Broadcasters and industry bodies have formed the BMWG (Broadband Measurement Working Group) to develop a common approach for measuring online video content viewing. The group, chaired by Ron Coomber, is made up from BBC, BSkyB, BT Vision, Channel 4, Five, ITV, Virgin Media, and industry bodies ABCe, BARB, the IPA.

The group has been set up to develop a ‘rights metric’ for measuring content delivered over IPTV, covering simulcast, streams and downloads. A ‘rights metric’ will enable broadcasters to measure and report video advertising to a consistent and agreed standard.

ABCe, the industry owned digital auditor, was tasked in November 2006 with facilitating the development of the measurement metric. Since then the BMWG has worked to deliver measurement data back to the rights holders, and to seek to combine BARB and ABCe’s complementary approaches to reporting.

Ron Coomber, chair of the BMWG, said: “The formation of an industry wide group came about as a result of the need to measure video advertising on the internet as broadcasters needed to have a meaningful conversation with rights holders over the value of the rights. In the interim the rights holders have agreed to a moratorium while a suitable means of measurement can be developed.”

“From the broadcasters’ perspective there are obviously many important things to be learnt about how video is consumed over the web. Video advertising, although not a new concept, has reached the point where a reliable measurement tool is needed. This is particularly relevant for commercial broadcasters who are investing a great deal in developing a variety of video on demand services and will need to generate revenue from video adverting.”

Bjarne Thelin, chief executive, BARB, said: “BARB and its underwriting organisations are investigating options for the BARB system to include data on viewing of televisual content via new distribution platforms. The project with ABCe through the BMWG is an important part of that process in understanding and determining what may be possible.

BARB is investigating other techniques to be able to assess the people side (who is watching) but, if successful, the BMWG project could provide granular information on the screen side (what the equipment is being used for). BARB’s ultimate goal in this area would be to connect these two types of information if an appropriate means can be determined. We expect involvement in the BMWG to intensify, as the project is beginning to prove what can be delivered.”

Richard Foan, managing director, ABCe, said: “Viewing content over the internet is becoming increasingly common with the major broadcasters launching online viewing platforms. Having industry agreed online standards will achieve transparency and trust in the medium and enable advertisers, broadcasters and rights holders to use it with professionalism and confidence. A consensus on standards for simulcast, stream and download measurement is a pivotal point in the creation of online media metrics and something the group are committed to achieving.”

– ENDS –

Notes for 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 and Sky+ 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.

Distributed by Brown Lloyd James on behalf of BARB. Media calls to Sheila Thompson or Debbie Coleman on 020 7591 9610 ( (


The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) is a not for profit organisation owned by the media industry, tasked with promoting trust by providing robust currencies on which to trade media in the UK and Ireland.ABC certifies and provides audit services to verify the circulation figures of newspapers and magazines, attendance at exhibitions and performance data across a wide range of digital media (including websites and email) through ABC ELECTRONIC.

ABC is governed by a Council of permanent and elected representatives including media owners, media buyers, advertisers and representatives from industry trade bodies.Any changes to rules and regulations are instigated and agreed on by these industry representatives including ISBA, IPA, PPA, NS and NPA, to ensure the needs of the media industry are met.

ABC ELECTRONIC’s role is to manage standards for the industry through its work with JICWEBS, the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards, and to provide credibility, comparability and transparency for digital

ABC was first established in the UK in 1931, is a leading founder member of the International Federation of ABC’s (IFABC), and is one of the largest media audit bodies in the world.ABC ELECTRONIC was established in 1996, and is leading an international network setting global standards for electronic media, delivering global measurement standards for local markets through its work as Chair of the IFABC web standards group.
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