Business TV Channel CNBC ‘Underreported’, Quits BARB

03 September 2004

Pan-European financial and business TV channel CNBC Europe has pulled out of British ratings body BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board) citing underreporting of its viewing figures.

BARB's measurement technique only records viewing in private homes of a 5,000-strong viewer panel, which CNBC claims is a disadvantage for small, niche channels such as itself.

CNBC, a joint venture between America's NBC network and Dow Jones, has recently trialled an audience measurement system with GfK Media and is much more satisfied with the results.

GfK's research shows 45% of CNBC viewers are in non-multi-channel households, supporting the channel's own beliefs that most of its viewing occurs in offices or hotel rooms.

While BARB found that only 0.1% (200,000) of the viewing public watched CNBC in a week, GfK measured an average 2.5 million, with 3.8m recorded for big news events. It also showed audience numbers peaking around top daytime shows such as Morning Exchange.

Says a spokeswoman for CNBC: "BARB hasn't kept pace with digital developments and doesn't report the niche channels very well. We recognise that we're a special case and we're looking at other research methods to measure our viewing across Europe."

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff