CFlight FAQs

Updated on: 19th April 2023

CFlight enables TV and AV buyers to see the total reach and frequency of their campaigns across all forms of TV. We’ve gathered together answers to your key questions about CFlight, find out more below:

What is CFlight?

  • CFlight is the UK’s first unified TV advertising metric that captures the vast majority of live, time-shifted and on-demand commercial impacts and impressions across all viewing platforms
  • CFlight is a post-campaign online evaluation tool. It produces campaign reports that provide de-duplicated total reach and frequency across linear TV and broadcaster VOD (BVOD)

Which companies are behind CFlight?

  • Broadcaster CFlight is a joint initiative between Sky Media, ITV Media and 4 Sales. CFlight was created by NBCU, a Comcast company, in the US. Comcast-owned Sky redeveloped it for its own purposes in the UK, and also instigated this three-way collaboration with ITV Media and 4 Sales, which tailors the methodology to the UK’s broadcasting ecosystem.
  • Industry bodies Barb, Thinkbox and Clearcast have facilitated CFlight’s development, and TV audience specialists RSMB and TechEdge have played integral roles in terms of data architecture and processing.
  • CFlight is a pioneering and technically complex project involving over 50 people and 10 organisations.

What are RSMB and TechEdge’s roles?

  • Audience research consultancy RSMB has designed the calculation methodology. RSMB is a long-standing supplier to Barb, and has used its audience measurement expertise to write the underlying algorithms which unite the Barb panel’s linear impacts with census-based on-demand impressions
  • Media data processing specialists TechEdge have implemented RSMB’s CFlight model and integrated it into a web portal at, through which users can generate CFlight report requests. TechEdge then collate the data and run it through the CFlight model which is then made available for online report generation
  • Both companies are highly respected in the media research world, having longstanding involvement in UK TV audience measurement

Which broadcasters and players are covered?

  • In addition to Channel 4, ITV and Sky’s channels, apps and portals, CFlight includes UKTV and Channel 5 channels and their respective BVOD players, and their VOD ads on Virgin Media. The inclusion of STV Player impressions is due in 2023, and BT Sport is on the roadmap. We estimate that CFlight covers over 98% of UK broadcaster advertising.

Who can have access to CFlight?

  • CFlight data is available to all buyers of BVOD and linear airtime, at no cost. Large and medium-sized agencies have direct access – buyers in the top 35 agencies can email to request login details. Smaller agencies may ask for CFlight runs from any of the sales houses they have bought from. The online portal is hosted by TechEdge, who send onboarding emails to verified agency buyers. It is a standalone system, unconnected to TechEdge subscription services
  • Agencies with direct access can see their own campaign data

What does CFlight data show?

Initially CFlight combines linear TV advertising impacts with BVOD impressions to give total exposure counts at a broad audience level (Adults). Further phases are planned over the next 2 – 4 years to add greater flexibility and functionality

  • Combined impacts/impressions across linear and BVOD
  • Reach and frequency across linear and BVOD campaigns
  • Comprehensive exposure measurement across devices, platforms and apps
  • BVOD-only campaigns (future phase)

Which devices and apps are included?

  • Most linear TV impacts and impressions served around broadcaster on demand content are included in CFlight
  • BVOD players: ITV X, All 4, UKTV Play, STV Player, Sky Go, Sky on Demand, NOW TV, Virgin Media VOD, My5
  • Devices: Connected TVs, set top boxes, PCs, Macs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, games consoles
  • Browsers: Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, etc
  • …In fact there are no player, device or browser exceptions that we know of

What is CFlight’s methodology?

  • CFlight combines Barb panel linear TV impacts, reach and frequency and census-level BVOD impressions and account reach data. Industry standard datasets such as Barb Dovetail and Touchpoints fusion feed the models, alongside bespoke survey data
  • The calculations are extensive and complex, written by RSMB and processed by TechEdge. There are the following broad steps:
    • A machine learning algorithm tackles data cleaning requirements, completing missing classifications.
    • Impressions are scaled to be the equivalent of linear impacts, using viewers per view (VPV) factors built using Barb data.
    • Segmented universes based on platform access are built, taking into account household composition where necessary and overlaps.
    • For each BVOD service (player), the relationship between account level reach, impressions and frequency is encoded into a robust statistical model (NBD), as also used as the Barb Gold Standard.
    • Further machine learning models are used to deduplicate reach across different services for each segment. These steps deliver daily deduplicated reach and total impacts for the selected clocks.
    • Frequencies are calculated using another robust statistical model, following the Barb Gold Standard for frequency reporting.
  • CFlight’s development has been aided by Clearcast/Peach, which identifies BVOD copy numbers and supplies them to TechEdge, enabling the accurate matching of linear and BVOD creative copy.

What are the inputs to the model?

The model works by taking:

  1. Three datasets from each of ITV, Channel 4 and UKTV, Sky Media and STV containing recent user account universes, daily impression counts and cumulative frequency distributions
  2. Barb linear universe data
  3. Barb linear campaign reach and frequency data
  4. Rolling parameters derived from Barb and Barb Dovetail data
  5. Static data from a bespoke ‘Landscape’ survey

What are the run parameters?

CFlight users can select:

  • Their own agency’s campaigns (only)
  • A campaign date range of between 5 and 63 days (up to 9 weeks/2 months)
  • Dates from a rolling 18 months ago to 10 days ago
  • Up to 25 brands from one advertiser
  • Up to 25 clock numbers
  • The default audience is Adults. Other TV trading audiences will be available once launched in Q4 2023

What is the report output and how long does it take to produce?

  • Users can choose either a pdf or an Excel output
  • Reports specify linear impacts and BVOD impressions, and de-duplicated campaign reach and frequency across linear TV and BVOD
  • Reports called off before 1800 run overnight. This gives time for a request file to be generated and the broadcasters’ data to be sent back to TechEdge for processing

What reassurance of accuracy do agencies have?

  • ABC, the media measurement JIC, is auditing the impression data inputs that are supplied by each of the broadcasters’ ad servers. If it finds any quality issues it will make recommendations to improve the processes.

What is planned for future phases?

  • The priority has been to launch CFlight as swiftly as a technical collaboration of this scale and complexity can be achieved
  • CFlight is providing unique insights into TV+BVOD campaigns, based on All Adults
  • It will become an ever-more sophisticated measurement system, and has been designed to be enhanced in future phases over the next 2 to 4 years
  • The most eagerly anticipated functionality upgrade is scheduled for Q4 2023: the ability to run reports for the main TV buying audiences (one audience per report)
  • Beyond then, further upgrades are in the pipeline and will be announced in due course
  • Other incremental improvements will be added along the way
  • All dates and phases are subject to change, but we will keep you informed

Contact us if you’d like to know more

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