BBC & C4 shows thrash Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ for viewers, according to new UK data

Strictly Come Dancing

The BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off have beaten Netflix hit Squid Game on the UK’s most-watched chart, according to new data released today by ratings agency BARB.

The UK versions of entertainment format Come Dancing and cookery show Bake Off secured 10.4m and 8.9m viewers respectively for their most popular episodes in October, with ITV show The Larkins in third spot on 6.6m.

The Great British Bake-Off

The final episode of Squid Game, which launched in September, was the 10th most-watched programme across all broadcast channels and streaming services in the UK during October, according to the ratings firm, with 5.8m viewers.

BARB said Netflix had three other entries in the top 100, while Amazon Prime Video had zero.

SVOD segue

The findings come from UK television audience measurement firm BARB (Broadcasters Audience Research Board), which is backed by UK industry players including the BBC, C4, Channel 5, Sky, ITV and UKTV.

It uses a panel of more than 5,000 households representing 12,000 viewers to quantify who is watching what and for how long via TV screens (and not other devices). The organisation, which was founded in 1981, has now started measuring viewing via SVOD and video-sharing platforms by using router meters installed in panelists’ homes.

BARB said it can now measure the reach and total time spent viewing SVOD services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Netflix, as well as platforms such as TikTok, Twitch and YouTube.

In addition, BARB said it can also now report the audiences to programmes viewed on TV sets on the most-watched SVOD services in panel homes using Kantar’s SVOD programme measurement system.

Data collected from October showed that Disney+ had one title, Black Widow, placed in the top 100 most-watched programmes in October.

Justin Sampson, BARB’s CEO, said: “Understanding people is at the heart of BARB’s remit and it’s been clear for some time that streaming services have started to attract viewers who have traditionally relied solely on linear channels for their viewing entertainment.

Squid Game

“It’s great news for the television and advertising industry that we’re upgrading our always-on measurement service to include SVOD and video-sharing platforms. For the first time there is audience measurement for these services that bears all the hallmarks of a joint-industry currency: independence, objectivity and transparency.”

Defining a viewer

BARB has also updated its definition of total television viewing to ‘Total identified viewing’ with three parts:

Total broadcaster viewing – time spent watching linear broadcast channels and BVOD services, including live viewing, pre- and post-broadcast viewing and viewing to archive box-sets on a BVOD service. Viewing is reported across four screens (TV sets, tablets, PCs and smartphones). For tagged services, this includes any viewing streamed through something other than the home WiFi network.

Total SVOD/AVOD viewing – time spent viewing 16 VOD services, including Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Netflix, on four screens. This only includes viewing through a home’s WiFi network.

Total video-sharing viewing –time spent viewing platforms such as TikTok, Twitch and YouTube, on four screens, through a home’s WiFi network.

BARB aded that across October, total identified viewing by everyone aged 4+ was 231 minutes per day, of which 156 minutes (or 68%) was total broadcaster viewing; 35 minutes was total SVOD/AVOD viewing, and 40 minutes was total video-sharing viewing.

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