Finally last week we were presented with the first viewing figures
for digital TV. But no sooner had BARB produced the percentages than the
critics had started carping about their validity.
Campaign Media Business was not above printing these criticisms, nor
should we be. It is only right and proper that questions are asked about
these things. Nevertheless, you can’t help feeling that some of the
criticism of BARB has been unfair and peremptory.
We were all demanding a pointer to the impact of digital, and BARB has
presented us with such an indicator. Sure, we’d have liked to have a
month’s data rather than a week’s. We’d have liked to have 300 homes in
the sample, instead of just 148. But in such a fast-developing market,
it would have been impossible to come to any firm conclusion about
viewing habits - which will be dependent on some erratic programming -
even if the sample had been larger.
All we can hope for at the moment is a snapshot of viewers’ behaviour,
and that is exactly what BARB’s data provides - whether Channel 5 likes
it or not