Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

BBC TV boosts audience appreciation and share in 2010 and takes bold steps in audience measurement

BBC Television is set to deliver the best year of any major UK broadcaster, following strong performances across its channels throughout 2010*.

Analysis has revealed that the AI (audience appreciation index) figures have gone up and the portfolio has grown its share to 33.1% – 0.5** points up on last year – and now reaches 85.5% of the UK population each week, up from 84.7% last year.

Jana Bennett, Director, BBC Vision, says: "It's been a strong year for BBC Television, with distinctive and uniquely BBC initiatives like the year of science, opera and poetry seasons and the launch of BBC One HD. We've seen truly ambitious and challenging moments like Five Daughters and Turn Back Time – The High Street, resulting in a portfolio performance that has bucked the trend and grown its AIs and audience share, whilst keeping public service broadcasting values at its heart."

Bennett also announced today that the BBC will be introducing a new way of reporting its audiences, alongside regular "overnight" methods. The system, called Live Plus 7, will incorporate the total audience consuming content across all platforms, including live, recordings, narrative repeats, BBC iPlayer and HD for seven days after transmission. The system makes extensive use of BARB data and will collate these ratings relating to a particular programme or episode alongside BBC iPlayer stats. Next year we plan to start revealing this information by publishing some of this Live Plus 7 information each month in a similar fashion to the way we announce BBC iPlayer stats now.

Bennett adds: "We know viewing habits are changing and we're changing with them. As our content becomes available in more ways than ever before, traditional methods of overnight measurement are now just one part of the picture. The new Live Plus 7 system will allow us to look at the total impact of a show and use this insight to continue creating the programmes our audiences want to see."

The figures** show that:

BBC One is still the UK's most-watched channel:

  • BBC One has continued to grow in 2010, reaching 44.6 million people each week, up from 44m last year
  • Share has remained broadly stable at 20.7% for all hours and BBC One is the only terrestrial channel to have gone up in peak (to 22.9%). It has consequently increased its lead ahead of other terrestrial channels in both peak and all hours
  • Highlights this year include The Young Ones, a broad range of ambitious and challenging drama like Sherlock and the live EastEnders episode, which was watched by over 20 million people

BBC Two share remains ahead of its main competitors in peak hours:

  • The channel reaches 31.3 million people each week. A dip in peak share to 7.8% keeps BBC Two comfortably ahead of its competitors, and all hours share totals 6.9%
  • As part of Putting Quality First, the channel has taken creative risk with distinctive programmes at 9pm including Secret Iraq, BP: $30 Billion Blowout and The Song Of Lunch and has experienced its highest ever AIs.
  • The high quality of BBC Two's output, recognised by audiences and the Trust, is clear in the numerous successes this year, including Wonders Of The Solar System and a resurgence of mainstream comedy on the channel, with Miranda, Rev and The Trip.

BBC Three is now the most-watched digital channel in the hours it broadcasts:

  • The MGEITF Non-Terrestrial Channel of the Year, BBC Three, saw both its share and reach grow in 2010, with the channel now reaching 5.2m, (36.4%) 16-34s each week, up from 4.8m in 2009 and has a share of 5%, up from 4.4% in 2009
  • Highlights this year include EastEnders: The Aftermath, which was watched by 4.5m – the best audience on a digital channel ever. Him And Her saw the highest ever audience for a sitcom launch on the channel, Russell Howard's Good News remains popular, topping a million viewers, and there was a successful second series of Being Human
  • Women, Weddings, War And Me saw the highest audience appreciation figure of any factual programme on any British channel whilst the successful Adult Season reached almost half of 16-34s with programming hits that included Small Teen, Big World, which saw the channel's best ever documentary audience with 1.2m

BBC Four has increased its reach and share considerably in the hours it broadcasts:

  • It's been an excellent year for BBC Four, which has increased from 1% to 1.1% in the hours it broadcasts, and now reaches 8.5 million people each week, up from 7.2m in 2009
  • Reflecting the Trust's findings that audiences appreciate its high quality and distinctive content, 2010 has seen a wide variety of successful programmes and seasons on the channel
  • Highlights include the Fatherhood and Sea seasons, a series of programmes on opera and original pieces that offer something that no other channel would, like Indian Hill Railways, Pavarotti – A Life In Seven Arias, Britain Goes Camping, Treasures Of The Anglo Saxons and The Road To Coronation Street

The BBC's other portfolio channels have also had a successful year

  • BBC HD has experienced growth this year and BBC One HD is already doing well
  • BBC Parliament has increased its weekly reach by 40% to 0.7m individuals (1.2%)

2010 has been a record year for the BBC News Channel

  • An average of 9.6 million people now tune in each week – up 24% on 2009
  • A series of major news events has given the channel its best ever figures, with 7.4 million adults turning to the channel on the day of Gordon Brown's resignation, 7 million watching the day after the General Election and 6.9 million watching on the day the Chilean miners were released

The BBC's children's services are still the nation's favourites:

  • CBBC has grown and still reaches more 6-12 year olds than its competitors
  • CBeebies has maintained its position as the most-watched pre-school channel during the hours it broadcasts.

BBC iPlayer has hit new highs, with 139 million requests last month.

  • There was a year-on-year increase in the number of requests received for TV and radio programmes every month. October was the best performing month to date, with 139 million requests***
  • BBC iPlayer went live in September with an updated design on the web, incorporating new social and personalisation features
  • Top Gear did well throughout its run and the EastEnders live episode, and every premiering episode of the new Doctor Who series, received over 1 million requests

Notes to Editors

*The BBC TV Portfolio consists of BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC Parliament, The News Channel, Red Button and BBC HD Channel. BBC iPlayer figures are not included.

BBC Vision portfolio, which does not include BBC Parliament or The News Channel, has grown its share to 32.1% – up 0.3 points.

**All figures are based on analysis of consolidated data from up to and including 21 November 2010 which gives us a good indication of the likely end-of-year position.

***Stats available for January 2010 – October 2010 at time of submission.

Peak hours are 1800-2230, as stated by BARB.

BARB started reporting UK television audiences in 1981, providing the industry-standard audience measurement service for television broadcasters and the advertising industry. It is a not-for-profit limited company owned by BBC, ITV, Channel 4, five, BSkyB and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

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