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Russia Today catching up with Murdoch’s Sky News

November 22, 2012, 11:52 UTC+3

Russian TV channel Russia Today, which broadcasts in English, took the third place among British news channels

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In the third quarter of 2012, the Russian TV channel Russia Today (RF), which broadcasts in English, took the third place among British news channels, the Izvestia daily writes. Only BBC News and Sky News are ahead of the Russian TV channel. These data have been released by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB) – Britain’s national television rating system.

According to BARB, 555 thousand people starting from the age of four are the viewers of the Russia Today channel in the UK. The RT monthly audience exceeds 1.3 million, and quarterly – 2.5 million. Thus, Russia Today has managed to overtake other international TV channels broadcasting in the UK. RT audience is twice as large as the Euronews audience, and three times as large as the American Fox News channel audience. It is also ahead of the Qatari Al Jazeera English channel in terms of the number of viewers.

RT said that its television audience figures in Britain would have been higher if the BARB measurements included the hotel viewers. However, the hotel TV audience measurements are not made.

The national BARB audience measurement system for the first time included in its reports the Russia Today TV channel this June.

“Entering the national British system of audience measurement is a success for any English-language channel in the UK,” RF Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan told the Izvestia newspaper. “We’ve succeeded not only in this, but also have managed to secure a footing among the top three most popular UK channels and excel all international news channels that are measured by BARB. You should have seen what they write to us from Britain: that they are shocked that they would never see so many of their own British stories on their regular channels, but they watch them on our channel. That’s why they watch us. But we’re not going to rest on our laurels, now we have a more difficult task - to retain the leading position.”

BARB data coincide with the data of Kantar Media research agency, which has also studied the RT audience in the UK. The agency conducted personal interviews with the viewers. According to Kantar Media, RT has surpassed in terms of the audience in Britain other international news channels: American Bloomberg, German Deutsche Welle, French France 24, Chinese CCTV and Iranian Press TV.

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