PBK has drafted methods for measuring the volume profile of the audience

Pirmais Baltijas kanāls (PBK, The First Baltic Channel) together with the media research agency, TNS Latvia, has drafted survey methods to measure the profile of the channel’s audience which in future will allow us to forecast the possibility of watching a particular TV programme. The initial research from these methods had already been gathered by the end of 2007.

In December 2007, PBK together with the independent research company, Fieldex, carried out a three-stage research into the viewing habits of TV programmes. The research was implemented on the basis of these new methods for measuring audience profile which estimated the audience of TNS Latvia channels with the help of a TV-meter. The survey data obtained was compared to the data of TV-meter and there was shown to be no significant differences in the results gained by the two methods.

“We are satisfied with the research results, the indicators are indicative and we will use the new method in future as well for measuring the audience of our channels and for forecasting particular programmes”, mentions the Head of the Analytical department of PBK, Mikhail Bobkin.

Director of Change Control in Media Projects at TNS Latvia, Martins Traubergs, explains that with the analysis and results of the research by PBK and other data gained through the assistance of TV-meter measuring devices, it is obvious that there is little difference between TV meter methods and the results from the PBK survey or if there is a difference it is subjective and therefore has no significant importance. “Thus the research method shown is an objective tool for analysing the habits of TV viewers”, says M. Traubergs, adding that a TV-meter is an electronic device which is attached to a TV set. It registers which channel is on at any given moment. “In Latvia, currently 375 families have TV meters set up which allows objective information about the TV channel being viewed to be received”, says Mr. Traubergs.

“Comparative analysis of the two researches techniques – ours and that of TNS showed that the largest differences in results can be seen in news section”, explains M. Bobkin, “the reason for this is the fact that in Latvia news is one of the most popular programmes. The content of news programmes is very similar, only brand and the format of news presentation differ. Quite often the viewer cares about the information and not about the channel or name of the programme. Therefore answers about preferences in watching the news on all researched channels have high level of discrepancies with the automated data of TNS Latvia”.

Data about the viewing habits of a TV episodes show that the favourite episodes are associated with a particular channel. “Episodes can last for a long duration and, as a rule, they are not repeated on different channels. The viewer associates the information with particular heroes and the series which interests them; therefore a person regularly switches on a particular channel and a particular programme. Differences of data between surveys of PBK and the method of TV meter in this case are minor”, explains M. Bobkin.

PBK shortly plans to investigate the possibility of showing the European Football Championships which takes place in Vienna in June, 2008. Results of this research will allow us to predict the audience levels for UEFA EURO 2008 on PBK with a high level of accuracy.

Pirmais Baltijas kanāls has been using TNS Latvia data on television audiences already for several years and this data objectively characterises the volume of TV viewing. TNS Latvia is the only company in Latvia which has performed measurements of television audiences from 1999 using such specialist technical equipment.