Yet more problems for the newly revamped BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board) audience measurement system [WAMN: 18-Jan-02].

Its latest quirk has outraged ITV Digital, whose ITV Sport channel, according to BARB, attracted fewer than 1,000 viewers for its coverage of a high profile Worthington Cup soccer semi-final between Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers. Audiences below this figure register as zero on the BARB report.

The data, avers ITV Digital, is not only inaccurate but had also been wrongly released to journalists. The broadcast, it insists, attracted an average audience of 85,000 and a peak of 105,000.

Fumed an ITV spokesperson: “The story is completely untrue, the game actually averaged an official BARB rating of 105,000. On top of this figure, many more tens of thousands of people watched the game in pubs and bars that also have ITV Digital.”

News source: BrandRepublic (UK)