UK TV Ratings Body to Measure Out-of-Home Viewing

03 August 2006

After prolonged pressure from the broadcasting industry, British audience measurement body BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board) has finally agreed to measure out-of-home viewing in addition to its existing home panels.

It has long been a bone of contention among commercial broadcasters that BARB currently ignores the massive out-of-home audiences for such occasions as major sporting events.

According to BARB, it now envisages two discrete reporting groups: the existing fixed meters in 5,000+ UK homes, supplemented by portable wireless devices capable of measuring TV content viewed in hotels, pubs and bars - as well as newer devices such as cellphones and MP3 players.

And at the behest of broadcasters who have moved into streamed video and on-demand internet content (among them Channel 4, ITV, BSkyB and Five) BARB is now mulling extending its remit into those areas.

With this in mind BARB is "actively considering" recruiting the likes of Google and Yahoo into its scheme, insiders say. Such a move, however, is likely to encounter opposition from TV companies - already smarting at the US giants' incursion into their backyards.

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff