BBC Asks the Audience

BCN 122 cover

This originally appeared in BCN issue 122, December 2013

The BBC has started looking at its audience research figures and exploring what bi and gay viewers enjoy on TV. 

Adrian Ruth, chair of BBC Pride, blogged in October how compared to the wider population, LGB people watch more arts, entertainment and music programmes – but are less enthralled by children’s, current affairs, news, religion and sport. This was then broken down a little further by gender but not between bi and gay.  Naturally, BCN asked if there was analysis of bi compared to LG.

David Bunker from Audience Research answered, “Unfortunately the sample sizes we have to play with don’t allow us to break out bi from gay and lesbian – even with over 1000 LGB sample that soon decreases when you get down to specific age and gender groups within that. To make the analysis more meaningful we compared patterns of gay/straight consumption of the same age and gender – so men aged 16-34, women aged 35-54 etc. By doing this the samples we had were even smaller – so we had to collapse gay/bi men into one group, and the same with gay/bi women.

“The LGB sample across our whole survey is 1055 in total (613 lesbian and gay; 442 bisexual)”.  Hmmm. I’m not persuaded by this – I think those figures suggest they could slice by sexuality rather than gender and get a decent number of bis.  Maybe next time around?