Initial estimates that GB News drew over 1,000,000 viewers on New Year’s Day have been debunked.
Earlier this month, broadcast data authority Barb disclosed broadcast stats for coverage of London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, claiming that GB News had achieved record-breaking ratings.
According to the reported viewing figures, it was the channel’s first time reaching over a million viewers since its start in 2021, with the feat coming shortly after midnight during their coverage of the fireworks.
However, not everything was as it looked, and the figures proved to be far from accurate.
Instead, GB News had only averaged around 33,000, a significant decrease from the initial claim.
A few days after the figures were revealed, a Barb spokeswoman admitted the error and stated that certain statistics that should have been allocated to BBC One and other channels may have mistakenly gone to GB News.
‘The New Year’s Eve Fireworks were broadcast across several channels with very similar audio feeds,’ they told Press Gazette.
‘Barb’s ability to report which channel is being viewed relies partly on matching the audio output from TV sets to a channel.
‘In this instance, our audio-matching process has incorrectly attributed some viewing of the New Year’s Eve Fireworks to GB News that should have been attributed to BBC One and other channels.’
The spokesman stated that they were looking into the matter and will give updated viewing figures ‘as soon as feasible’.
GB News rung in the New Year with a New Year’s Eve Live broadcast hosted by comedian Andrew Doyle, which included a countdown and the London fireworks from shortly before 12 a.m. to around 12.13 a.m.
Doyle is usually a presenter on the nightly Headliners paper review show.
Meanwhile, 11 million people watched the BBC’s London fireworks extravaganza, according to Broadcast magazine.
Sky News had a peak average audience minute of 625,000 at midnight, with a total reach of 1.2 million from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Overall, in November, the most recent month for which official BARB statistics is available, GB News reached a total of 3.5 million individuals.
In the UK, the BBC News Channel has a monthly reach of 10.9 million, while Sky News has a reach of 8.2 million.