The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising report says that the Q4 figures show a 1.5% increase in average daily hours of viewing from Q3, and contributed to an overall annual figure for 2009 of 3.75 hours.
This is the highest level recorded during the course of the BARB 2002-2009 contract. The achievement was driven by Q4 as all other quarters in 2009 were flat or down on their equivalent periods in 2008.
Television shows drawing big audiences during Q4 included The X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!
Over the Q4 period, ITV1 and GMTV achieved 19% share of the total television audience; their best performance since Q4. However, BBC1 retained the highest share of all the terrestrial channels at 21%. Channel 4’s core channel share continued to fall to 6.2%. Overall the terrestrial channels took a 58.8% share.
When terrestrial and non-terrestrial are combined, advertising channels took a 62.7% share, up on Q3 and year on year.
As a family, including all digital channels, ITV took a 24.5% share, up slightly year on year, while the Channel 4 family dropped to 10.5%, down from 11.2% year on year. Aggregated BBC channels fell slightly quarter on quarter to a 32.7% share and were down year on year. BSkyB saw a 6.6% share for all Sky branded channels, up 0.3% year on year.
In terms of Share of Commercial Impacts (SOCI), ITV1 rose in Q4 year on year to 29.4% from 29% and all other ITV channels jumped from 8.9% to 9.3% year on year. Channel 4’s family fell one per cent to 17.1% and Five saw its family ’ drop from 10% to 9.7%, year on year.
All channels recorded increases in patronage, defined as the percentage of the population tuning in to a channel for at least three minutes during the week, in the quarter.
Lynne Robinson, Research Director of the IPA, says: “2009 has proved to be another strong year for television audiences. A new BARB measurement contract is effective from the 1st of January 2010. This new improved measurement of television will contain VOD viewing and is expected to further boost viewing figures in 2010.”