NEWS25 November 2009

Barb says all systems go for new TV ratings in January 2010


UK— The Broadcaster’s Audience Research Board (Barb) today confirmed 1 January 2010 as the go-live data for its new TV audience measurement service.

At an event in London this morning, Barb research director Tony Wearn said that a completely new panel of 5,100 homes had been recruited by TNS, which was picked to replace AGB Nielsen Media Research as the panel contractor in December 2007.

Wearn said that ethnic minorities were better represented in the new panel than the current one – though he said the numbers of Pakistani and Bangladeshi-origin households are slightly under target at this stage. A recruitment drive is now underway to correct that, Wearn said.

A parallel-run assessment of the new and existing service has also been carried out, with overall viewing numbers for Barb-reported channels up 4% using the 2010 service.

CEO Bjarne Thelin (pictured) compared the new system to a new car, saying: “We’ve ordered it, picked the colour, checked the tyres, checked the water, given it a test drive and changed a wheel. We are now working on things that will improve the journey, like optimising the stereo and finding the right aircon temperature.”

Thelin said that while Barb 2010 won’t be “a radically different service at the outset”, the new system has built-in “flexibility for the future”.

Improvements touted so far include the installation of fixed, wired-in equipment that will measure programmes viewed on computers and games consoles plugged into a TV set, and the measurement of programmes watched via seven-day on-demand cable services. Meanwhile, Thelin said Barb’s R&D would continue to focus on finding a way to measure TV watched on PCs and laptops.


1 Comment

15 years ago

Yet another "BARB" cryptic message... I read in their website that the new system is reporting viewing levels that are 4% higher than the current one... What ?!?!? Four percent!!?? What happened? Will anybody come out an explain this "step change" in viewing habits?? As far as I know, the current BARB system is already reporting "programmes watched via seven-day on-demand cable services", so where is this "new" viewing coming from??? It WILL be very interesting to see what these new ratings numbers look like...

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