The new BARB (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board) TV ratings system – already the centre of considerable controversy since it was introduced at the start of the year [WAMN: 18-Jan-02; 21-Jan-02] – is expected to show a marked fall in youth viewing figures for commercial station Channel 4.

The first monthly ratings from the new panel, introduced to provide a better reflection of Britain’s demographics, are not out until Tuesday, but provisional data from the first three weeks of January suggest ratings among C4’s core 16-to-34-year-old market tumbled around 30%.

Such figures would hang a rather large question mark over C4’s heavy expenditure on shows aimed at the age group, such as Friends, ER and Sex and the City.

News source: BrandRepublic (UK)