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BBC Digital - Zero Rated

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Audience figures for the BBC's digital television channels were so low last year they could not be measured by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BAR:cool:.

During 2003, 1328 hours of programming - equivalent to 55 days - scored a zero audience rating.

BBC News 24 had the most zero rated output, with 472 hours of programming unwatched, much of it during the early morning hours. CBBC had 314 hours of zero rated programmes.

But CBeebies was the least bad for zero-rated programmes, ahead of BBC Three and BBC Four.

Overall, BBC Three - which costs £75 million - is in fifth place among digital channels with a 1.32 per cent share. It stands behind Sky One, ITV2, UK Gold and Sky Sports 1. BBC Four's audience share stands at 0.33 per cent.

The BBC pointed out that many shows on ITV2, Sky One and Sky Sports also score zero ratings.