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TV Ratings


Well-known member
Oct 8, 2009
I would like to know how these are compiled.
Over the years we had the TAM ratings which seemed to bear no relation to what people were actually watching as they only took account of Irish television stations and were therefore rendered meaningless by ignoring everyone in multi-channel land.
Now we have the latest viewing figures for Love/Hate released that tell us that the average audience for the last episode was 953000 viewers. That really is meaningless. How can it be "average"? You either watched it or you didn't. The same article in the Irish Times (I can't post a link to it) then goes on to tell us that the audience peaked at 10.27 with 1,074,440. That suggests that 121440 tuned in to watch the closing credits.


Well-known member
Mar 22, 2010
Glad you asked this! Was actually wondering the same thing myself over the weekend but had TG4 programmes in mind. As in how long do you have to watch a show for before you are considered as a viewer of it in the statistics?


Well-known member
May 8, 2009
Like with many programmes, the audience probably gradually built over the entire hour, as people switched over upon the conclusion of others (such as Homeland on Channel 4, which ended at 10 that night). Thus, 831,560 (953,000 - 121,440) were tuned in at 9.30, while the aforementioned 1,074,440 were viewing at 10.27, giving the overall average of 953,000. It's similar to how TV3 claimed 800,000 watched the first episode of Dallas, even though only 400,000 watched for the entire 60 minutes.

Skeptic Angel

Active member
Jul 17, 2008
"When a household agrees to join the panel their television sets, PVRs, VCRs etc. are electronically monitored by a meter. Each TV in the home is connected to its own meter which holds an electronic record for the set. The meter is a small box which is put close to each television set and connected to it. The meter automatically identifies and collects information about the channel that the panel member is viewing.

All panel household residents and their guests register their presence when in a room with a television set on. Each individual does this by pressing a button allocated to them on the Unitam Meter handset. The metering system monitors all registrations made by each individual for each television in the home.

The panel member does not need to do anything else for the meter to capture the viewing in their household everyday. Throughout the day the meter system stores viewing undertaken by the entire household. Each night between 3am and 6am the data processing centre automatically downloads the data from panel homes (a process known as polling). This procedure is carried out on every panel home every day to produce minute-by-minute television viewing data.

Since September 2010 VCR, PVR playback and "catch-up" VOD services have been reported if it takes place within 7 days of the original broadcast. This viewing (known as time-shifted viewing) is added to the live data to produce the final, minute-by-minute Consolidated audience, available 8 days after the original transmission date. This Consolidated data is the 'TAM Gold Standard' used by the industry to report and trade on.

Channels reported by TAM Ireland provide detailed timings of the programmes and commercials they broadcast. The logs are then matched to the minute-by-minute viewing data to produce the TAM official audience estimates for programmes and commercials."

FAQ | TAM Ireland


Well-known member
Feb 14, 2011
What about those of us that no longer believe in Television, and have gone past all of that ?

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