We have used some terms in this report to explain how we run our business, but which might be unfamiliar to our readers. The following list gives definitions for some of the more frequently used terms.

Acquired programmes

Acquired programmes are bought in a finished state from another supplier.

Appreciation Index or AI

Appreciation Index or AI is the aggregate of how much people say they enjoyed individual programmes, expressed as a number out of 100.

Creative Economy

The UK’s creative economy includes the organisations and people who work in design and media industries, including independent production companies, actors and writers.


BARB (Broadcasters Audience Research Board) is the independent organisation responsible for providing the official measurement of UK television audiences.

Cost per user hour

Cost per user hour or Cost per listener hour combines service spend and consumption to help inform an assessment of value for money.

Digital switchover

The process of digital switchover involved turning off the UK’s analogue television broadcasting system which completed in 2012.


Freesat is a free-to-air satellite TV service provided by the BBC and ITV, where users pay for the equipment but do not pay a monthly subscription. Visit freesat.co.uk/. Freesat from Sky is also available for a one-off payment: freesatfromsky.co.uk



HDTV – or high-definition television – is available via either a set-top box or an integrated digital television, and gives viewers better quality, high-resolution pictures.


Impact shows how memorable or acclaimed a programme or service is, and can be measured by the number of awards won by a service, or comments (positive and negative) generated in the press.

Peak time

Peak-time hours for the BBC’s TV services are 6pm-10.30pm. Radio consumption is very different, and peak time for radio is usually defined as the breakfast and drive-time slots.


The UK’s Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) are the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C.


Rajar (Radio Joint Audience Research) is the official body in charge of measuring radio audiences in the UK. It is jointly owned by the BBC and the RadioCentre on behalf of the commercial sector.


Reach on television is the number or percentage of an audience group who watch a programme or channel (15 consecutive minutes each week is the usual BBC measure, versus three minutes on commercial TV); and on radio is the number or percentage of people aged 15+ who listen to at least five minutes of radio in a 15-minute period during an average week.


The share of total viewing or listening to a particular programme or service over a set time, expressed as a percentage of total hours of viewing/listening.

Unique users

Unique users or unique browsers is a measure for website traffic. It is not a traditional survey of ‘people’, but is measured automatically using either server logs or by a tag embedded within the web pages.


The Window of Creative Competition (WoCC) opens up 25% of eligible TV hours and 10% of eligible radio hours to free competition between BBC in-house production and external producers. WoCCs are on top of pre-existing Ofcom and voluntary minimums.



If you want more information or to know more about how the BBC is run, please visit bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc

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