LONDON: Research giant Taylor Nelson Sofres has regained the UK's national TV audience measurement contract five years after ceding it to rival AGB Nielsen Media Research.

The BARB (Broadcast Audience Research Board) contract requires TNS to track viewing not only on conventional TV but also via a range of new platforms such as broadband video on demand, PVRs and mobile media.

Reportedly worth around £10 million ($20.14m; €13.99m) annually, the contract will run for six years from 2010 using TV-meter technology in 5,100 households plus systems enabling the tracking of viewing via PCs or mobile devices.

According to BARB ceo Bjarne Thelin, the new system will improve its ability to quantify time-shifting via personal video recorders. A newly devised database will track timeshift viewing beyond the current seven-day window.

Crows triumphal TNS ceo David Lowden: "BARB's decision demonstrates TNS's market leadership in audience measurement. We are delighted to be reappointed."

With the contract still in its pocket for another two years AGB/NMR - jointly-owned by WPP Group and The Nielsen Company - has ample time to make good its loss. Albeit that the contract's prestige value probably outweighs its monetary worth.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff