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There are a lot of industry specific terms in TV, this blog is to help explain a few of them!


The universe simply put is the total population which has access to the desired network. The universe can be defined by demographic, region and other criteria. For example, the network universe of ITV Westcountry in April 2014 for Adults was 1,422,000. This means there is a population of 1,422,000 Adults who reside in a home with access to ITV Westcountry.

The universe is important as it gives us an accurate size of your target market. By intelligently redefining your universe by demographic and region you can focus your campaign on the right consumers for your product.


An impact is one member of your target audience viewing your commercial once. These are then added together to give your total impacts. This means that if you purchased 1 million total impacts then potentially 1 million people will view your commercial or 500,000 people will see your commercial twice each and anything in between. Realistically it will be somewhere in the middle.

Broadcaster’s like ITV will provide you with an Estimated Average Frequency prior to airing, which tells you the average frequency an individual has seen the commercial. Using 1mil as an example; an Estimated Average Frequency of 3 would mean 333,333 people have seen the commercial three times.

Each campaign is tailored to your requirements and aims. Some clients would prefer low frequency, high individual views, and others would prefer the opposite. With our experience we can not only advise which style of campaign would be best for you but also schedule spots in the most effective manner.

TVR / Rating

The TVR or Television Rating is a percentage of the universe. This is one of the fundamental units of purchasing TV. If we use the ITV Westcountry Universe (shown above) 400 TVR’s would mean that you were buying 5,688,000 impacts.

TVR’s are also used to measure success of programs with demographics. For example if The X Factor achieved a 16-34 Adult Male TVR of 15 in the Westcountry, this means that 213300 Impacts (based on the Universe above) will be from the eyes of 16 – 34 year old males in the Westcountry region.

Cost Per Thousand (CPT)

The Cost Per Thousand (CPT) is a very easy method of judging the cost of a particular spot. It is very simply the cost of achieving 1,000 impacts from your target audience. The CPT is influenced by many factors including the time of day, the channel or program being advertised on, the time of year etc. We can deftly advise on which spots are worth the investment and where we can be more cost effective on others in order to maximise the effectiveness of your campaign.