Advanced Television

UK TV broadcasters unify ad metrics

June 9, 2021

TV broadcasters Sky, ITV and Channel 4 are working together to launch CFlight – a unified advertising metric that captures live, on-demand and time-shifted commercial impressions across all mainstream viewing platforms in the UK.

The UK’s CFlight is a post-campaign online evaluation tool, using combined linear TV and broadcaster VoD data to show media buyers what the overall advertising exposure is for their TV campaigns, notably reach and frequency metrics.

CFlight was initially developed by Comcast-owned NBCUniversal in the US in 2018 and continues to underpin ongoing currency measurement across NBCUniversal’s One Platform. Sky (also Comcast-owned) then adapted the CFlight standards and methodology for the UK media marketplace to reflect its own portfolio, before working in conjunction with Channel 4 and ITV on a pan-broadcaster version.

In the UK, TV advertising across linear and BVoD accounts for 91 per cent of all the video advertising people see*. The launch of CFlight will be the first time that the overall reach and frequency of total TV can be measured in the UK, bringing greater clarity to the impact of TV advertising investment as viewing redistributes across linear and on demand.

Research consultancy RSMB has been commissioned to design the calculation methodology, and media software specialists TechEdge will collate and process the data and make it available for online report requests. Both companies are highly respected in the audience measurement world, having longstanding involvement within BARB and the UK television industry.

CFlight in the UK is founded upon BARB’s linear TV impacts derived from its ‘gold standard’ viewing panel, and BVOD impressions from broadcaster ad servers. The data methodology and process will be audited by ABC, the industry body for media measurement auditing, to give media buyers the reassurance of independent and expert scrutiny of CFlight, and to give CFlight the benefit of ongoing advice and robust quality control. The close involvement of RSMB, TechEdge, ABC and BARB itself has allowed CFlight to benefit from BARB’s globally-recognised high standards.

The development and coordination of CFlight has been project managed by independent consultant Andrew McIntosh through Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK in which Channel 4, ITV and Sky are all shareholders. At launch the broadcasters covered by CFlight will include ITV, Channel 4, Sky, UKTV, STV, Channel 5, Discovery, Viacom and the majority of Sky-sold channels**.

The first phase of CFlight will combine linear TV advertising impacts, as measured by BARB, with census level BVoD delivered impressions provided by each sales house. This will give total reach and frequency exposure counts at a broad audience level (Adults). Regular upgrades are planned in 2022 and beyond to add key demographic audiences as well as greater flexibility and functionality.

CFlight will be made available at no cost to agencies that run BVoD advertising campaigns, via a dedicated site hosted by TechEdge. Features include:

  • Combined impacts/impressions across linear and BVoD
  • Cover and frequency across linear and BVoD campaigns
  • Comprehensive exposure measurement across devices, platforms and apps
  • Ambition to only measure 100% completed impressions as soon as technically possible
  • Reports will be back-dateable to 1st January 2021

Tim Pearson, MD of Sky Media UK, Veriça Djurdjevic, Channel 4’s Chief Revenue Officer, and Kelly Williams, Managing Director, Commercial, ITV, issued a joint statement saying: “CFlight’s launch will be a pivotal moment for the TV ad industry, proving the power of TV advertising across linear and broadcaster VoD for the first time. The result of major collaboration, it will provide a pioneering, simple and much-needed new unified metric to demonstrate the significant, growing value of BVoD, and we’re excited for its continued evolution.”

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