NEWS2 October 2012

C4 voices ‘serious concerns’ over Barb ratings error


UK— Broadcaster Channel 4 has written to the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (Barb) regarding a technical error that saw some ITV viewers added to C4’s figures last month.

Broadcast reports that some ITV shows, such as The X Factor, saw lower viewing figures while C4 programmes including Grand Designs and 999: What’s Your Emergency saw an uplift.

Channel 4 has reportedly requested a meeting with the body to “root out” the cause of the issue and “prevent it from happening again”. Barb has blamed the error, which took place in the penultimate week of September, on a glitch in “audio reference procedures”.

A Barb spokesperson said: “The Barb service is complex and covered by high levels of quality control, and there are procedures to mitigate potential errors such as this one. Barb is awaiting a report from its research contractors into how these procedures seem to have failed in this instance.”