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lobster1,458 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Anglia (East) Look East
So, the viewing figures for the top programmes on christmas day are out and if you haven't seen them, are below..

what i want to know is whether the underlying dataset gives an authentic extrapolation.

my understanding is that BARB put a special set top box in a selection of homes (a few thousand) and from this they are able to derive the viewing figures for the entire country.

i suppose, upon seeing the top ten programmes, I have to wonder whether that data is as robust as it is made out to be...

i can just about accept that about 12% of the entire country is watching the Queen's Christmas message, but is 10% of the population watching Mrs Brown's Boys? really?

With all the ways we can consume entertainment these days, those figures seem rather surprising.

I also wonder whether the sample size is so small that the extrapolated data is ultimately meaningless - i mean, look at how election pollsters do pretty much the same thing, and most of the time, they get it wrong. I know it's not the exact same science, but it is still magnifying a small dataset to get something many, many times larger... a process which will also magnifies errors in the approach.

Do you think viewing figures are a load of old cobblers?





Quote:
1. The Queen - 7.6m (BBC One, ITV and Sky News)
2. Mrs Brown's Boys - 6.8m (BBC One)
3. Strictly Come Dancing - 6.5m (BBC One)
4. Call the Midwife - 6.3m (BBC One)
5. EastEnders - 6.3m (BBC One)
6. Doctor Who - 5.7m (BBC One)
7. Coronation Street - 4.8m (ITV) rising to 5.1m when ITV+1 is included
8. BBC Teatime News - 4.2m (BBC One)
9. The Highway Rat - 4.0m (BBC One)
10. Cinderella - 3.6m (BBC One)
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davidhorman2,058 posts since 8 Mar 2005
Channel Channel Islands
I did the calculations once, and for what appears to be a small sample size you can actually expect it to be a very accurate (counter-intuitively so) representation.

Quote:
i can just about accept that about 12% of the entire country is watching the Queen's Christmas message, but is 10% of the population watching Mrs Brown's Boys? really?


Yes, really. It's a popular programme.
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lobster1,458 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Anglia (East) Look East
Yes, really. [Mrs Brown's Boys] is a popular programme.


that is the most surprising fact of all.

we hardly watched any tv in the evening (kids had a few of the family films on in the background during the day) - i was genuinely really disappointed with the programmes on offer, i'm not surprised that 90% of the population wasn't watching any of it.
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62305822,579 posts since 19 Aug 2005 Recently warned
STV Central Reporting Scotland
Quote:
that is the most surprising fact of all..


Then people are living in bubbles and not looking at the bigger pictures. Mrs browns boys is very big show, there theater tours are always a sell out. What other tv shows or hobbies etc are people not releasing?
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VMPhil8,938 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
The shows scheduled for the evening on Christmas Day BBC One - Strictly, Enders, Midwife, Mrs Brown - are all popular regular programmes the rest of the year and attract big, loyal audiences (Mrs Brown often achieves high ratings even in repeats) which is why they're given pride of place on Christmas Day.

None of those shows are really to my taste which is why I don't tend to watch BBC One on Christmas Day nowadays. But it's what the majority of audiences want so that's what gets put on. The ratings this year were probably not helped by both EastEnders and Corrie currently being in a bit of a lull.

I did enjoy the French and Saunders special as some of the new sketches were as funny or funnier than some of the archive clips.

I was surprised to see ITV's Boxing Day film premiere Jurassic World get about 5 or 6 million in the ratings, as I didn't think TV film premieres still got such high ratings. It'll be interesting to see what Spectre will get on New Year's Day.
sjhoward495 posts since 21 Sep 2003
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
i'm not surprised that 90% of the population wasn't watching any of it.


A slightly strange conclusion when, looking at that top ten alone, almost 20% of the population were watching in the 8pm hour (split between Call the Midwife and Coronation Street).

I think we can all agree that the age of mass viewership of individual programmes at Christmas is over, but I'd be very surprised if even 50% of the population didn't watch any TV on Christmas Day.

lobster posted:
 mean, look at how election pollsters do pretty much the same thing, and most of the time, they get it wrong


I think that's pretty unfair. Election pollsters (at least in the UK) have a very strong record, and certain aren't wrong "most of the time". Media interpretation which often doesn't take account of margins of error is much more flawed - and you could say exactly the same about reporting of viewing figures.
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davidhorman2,058 posts since 8 Mar 2005
Channel Channel Islands
I think that's pretty unfair. Election pollsters (at least in the UK) have a very strong record, and certain aren't wrong "most of the time". Media interpretation which often doesn't take account of margins of error is much more flawed - and you could say exactly the same about reporting of viewing figures.


Plus BARB know their fixed sample and how it relates to the population as a whole. With an exit poll you've got far more variables to account for.
Neil Jones4,584 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
The ratings don’t include programming recorded, available via CatchUp (eg BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub etc) do they?


No. The BBC and ITV will know their viewership from their own services on their own sites but have to wait for the data from Sky, Virgin, Amazon etc to be sent and dealt with before they'll know for sure how much can be added to the official ratings.
lobster1,458 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Anglia (East) Look East
i'm not surprised that 90% of the population wasn't watching any of it.


A slightly strange conclusion when, looking at that top ten alone, almost 20% of the population were watching in the 8pm hour (split between Call the Midwife and Coronation Street).

I think we can all agree that the age of mass viewership of individual programmes at Christmas is over, but I'd be very surprised if even 50% of the population didn't watch any TV on Christmas Day.

lobster posted:
 mean, look at how election pollsters do pretty much the same thing, and most of the time, they get it wrong


I think that's pretty unfair. Election pollsters (at least in the UK) have a very strong record, and certain aren't wrong "most of the time". Media interpretation which often doesn't take account of margins of error is much more flawed - and you could say exactly the same about reporting of viewing figures.


i didn't notice that some of those in the top 10 were shown at the same time - my apologies.

my point about election polling is that it is an inexact science, and whilst i would agree that the polls get the general trends right most of the time, the specific numbers have basis that's much more abstract.

election pollsters also have the benefit of being able to adjust their methods after the election - they can get exact counts of votes, right down to very granular demographics - and validate their methodology with a concrete dataset.

there is no "real" count of the tv viewing figures, all we have - all we've ever had is extrapolated data - with no feedback loop and no fine tuning of the approach based on anything which could count as a real poll.

like i said, some of the figures in the top 10 seem realistic, others optimistic.

it would be very interesting to see the demographic breakdown of who the Barb actually thinks is watching this stuff.
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Whataday9,130 posts since 13 Sep 2001
HTV Wales Wales Today
i suppose, upon seeing the top ten programmes, I have to wonder whether that data is as robust as it is made out to be...

i can just about accept that about 12% of the entire country is watching the Queen's Christmas message, but is 10% of the population watching Mrs Brown's Boys? really?


So what you're saying is, because you don't enjoy Mrs Browns Boys, you think the data is flawed? Very scientific.

It's an incredibly successful franchise and the sheer snobbery aimed at it never fails to amaze me. I think it's fantastic that the masses have connected with it after years of being told how they must enjoy the likes of The Office, Thick of It et al
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